The New Mexico Lobos came up just short in their upset bid over the 8-1 Colorado Buffalos at DreamStlye Arena on Tuesday Night. Anthony Mathis scored a game-high 23 points, including seven of ten from behind the arc, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Lobos from blowing a 14-point second half lead and eventually losing to Colorado 78-75.
The Lobos started the game hot shooting 46% from the floor, riding an 11-point run to build an impressive 17-point lead with just over seven minutes to play in the first half. The Buffalos would eventually reduce the gap to nine points at the break with Tyler Bey and Deleon Brown scoring the final five points in the period.
UNM jumped back out to a 14-point advantage when Karim Ezzeddine made a layup before the 15.49 media timeout. Colorado responded with a ten-point run of their own to cut the lead to just four and eventually took the lead for good on a layup by McKinley Wright IV with 4:36 left to play.
“We had 10 deflections in the second half and forced one turnover. We got out to an early lead which is unusual for us. Early leads don’t mean anything,” UNM head coach Paul Weir said.
“The first half was a good 20 minutes, they might have been 20 of our better minutes of basketball on the season, but when you have 10 deflections in a half you’re never going to win a game.
Tyler Bey and Lucas Siewert led Colorado in scoring with 14 points each, with Bey leading all players with 11 rebounds. In a game in which both teams shot 41% from the floor, a plus-13 rebound advantage for the Buffalos proved to be a decisive advantage.
Colorado also benefitted greatly at the free throw line with 21 made free throws on 32 attempts compared to just seven for New Mexico. Not only did Colorado get to the charity stripe significantly more than New Mexico, but the Buffalo also hit a higher percentage of their attempts and won the game using that advantage.
With the loss, the Lobos fall to 4-4 on the season. UNM will look to get back on track with a home matchup this Sunday against Central Arkansas.