New Mexico has too much energy for Utah State
Lobos first half run leads them to victory
New Mexico advances to the Mountain West title game
LAS VEGAS – The New Mexico Lobos will be appearing in its sixth Mountain West title game and looking to win its fifth title ever which would be the most over for the 19-year-old league.
The Lobos advanced after easily defeating Utah State in the semifinals 83-68 and behind a first-half run where they outscored the Aggies 20-0 during that frame and never looked back. During that stretch, Utah State did not score a field goal for an eight-minute stretch.
New Mexico just was more athletic and pushed around the Aggies who could not keep up with the Lobos and were just out of steam.
The second half started off the same as the end of the first with New Mexico outscoring Utah State 8-2. The Lobos shots were the ones that were falling all night as they were over 50 percent from the field all day and the Aggies struggled to stay in the 40 percent range.
The Aggies made an attempt in the second half but the closest they could get to the Lobos was within nine points with a layup at the 1:51 mark by Koby McEwen but that was it. It seemed that any time the Aggies made a run it was thwarted shortly after by New Mexico.
The main differences in this game were the hot shooting for the Lobos which ended the day by making 52 percent of its shots and also getting to the free throw line and making 20 of 25 compared to 13 of 16 for the Aggies. The Lobos were the aggressors in this game which is why they were getting more attempts.
The balanced scoring for the Lobos was another reason Utah State struggled. Troy Simons led four New Mexico players in double figures with 17 points on the night.
Up next for New Mexico is San Diego State in the Mountain West championshhip game at 6 p.m. ET on CBS.