Bragg Leads New Mexico to Sweep Over New Mexico State, 69-62
New Mexico makes it 2-0 against their most prominent rival in 2019-2020
Players brought out the brooms after the game in honor of the sweep
It wasn’t pretty, but the New Mexico Lobos (10-2, 2-0 MWC) completed the sweep of in-state arch-rivals New Mexico State Aggies (6-6, 0-0 WAC) at Dreamstyle Arena in Albuquerque on Saturday night. The two teams combined for 38 total turnovers en route to the 69-62 final.
Carlton Bragg (17 points, 17 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 4 steals) dominated the paint for New Mexico, accruing more than half of his team’s rebounds and finishing 4-5 from the field and 9-10 from the free throw line.
During the post-game presser, New Mexico head coach Paul Weir said of Bragg, “His offensive rebounding ability is – it’s professional kind of level stuff. It changes the game for us. His running of the floor has always been terrific. . . I thought [JaQuan] in particular and some other guys really found him in transition and he had some really tremendous finishes, you know, very athletic, agile plays and he’s a great player . . . I think now this is the Carlton that, you know, we wanted when obviously he came here”.
JaQuan Lyle (16 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block) was the only other Lobo to score in double figures, though all eight Lobos that saw floor time scored.
For New Mexico State, four scored in double figures, led by Trevelin Queen (19 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block).
At a glance, the stat sheet tells the story of how the Lobos won the game.
Despite losing many of the statistics-based battles, there was one area where New Mexico really shined – the free throw line. As a team, New Mexico shot 82.1% from the free throw line, making 23 free throws to just 4 made free throws for New Mexico State.
And while it was never enough to break into a double digit lead, it was enough to keep the Aggies at bay, despite making 10 three pointers on the night.
When asked about three-point defense, Weir noted, “Our goal is to make teams beat us from the perimeter. That’s the idea. We keep our bigs out of foul trouble, we own the paint on offense and on defense and so far this year its got us to 10-2.”
And the strategy does seem to be working so far, even when the other team is making threes such as against Green Bay (10 made threes in a 93-78 win), Boise State (14 made three in an 80-78 win), McNeese State (13 made threes in a 90-80 win) and now against New Mexico State.
New Mexico will stay home to take on the Gran Canyon Antelopes on Tuesday at The Pit on Tuesday.