New Mexico Puts Away UTEP Despite Early Offensive Struggles
New Mexico improves to 3-1 on the season
The Lobos win late against rival UTEP
The New Mexico Lobos (3-1) shot 61.1 percent from deep and defeated the University of Texas El Paso Miners (2-3) 84-78 despite scoring only three points in the first 10 minutes and 48 seconds of the contest.
Both teams started off slow offensively, with the first basket made by UTEP forward Kaosi Ezeagu at the 16:16 mark. The Lobos wouldn’t score for nearly four more minutes.
UTEP led by as many as 11 about halfway through the first half, and New Mexico led by as many as 7 points. A layup from Paul Thomas at 8:06 in the second half tied the game 59-59, but a free throw from Vance Jackson with 7:54 left in the game put the Lobos back ahead 60-59 and gave the them the lead for good. The home team didn’t secure their first lead until the 12:11 mark of the second half on a Drue Drinnon assist that led to an Anthony Mathis three-pointer.
New Mexico was led in scoring by Mathis (18), who hit all four of his three-point attempts, while UTEP guard Evan Gilyard (22) led the Miners.
Though fans may have been concerned about the lack of scoring in the first half, Lobo coach Paul Weir noted after the game that his team is a “second half team” and expects his team to shine most in the final four to eight minutes of games.
This is a philosophy and style that showed in the bench points, as the Lobo bench outscored the Miners bench 37-7.
Notably, leading scorer Corey Manigault played only four minutes by coach’s decision in what Weir called a “teachable moment” – the subject of which was between he and Manigault.
New Mexico has a week off before heading to Peoria, Illinois to take on the Bradley Braves in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge on December 1, 2018.