The University of New Mexico Men’s basketball team fell to 5-3 on the season after losing to Illinois State 79-74 in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Conference Challenge on Saturday Night.
Elijah Brown lead the Lobos with 21 points on 6 of 17 shooting from the field, including a three point basket with one minute left in the game to bring the Lobos within one of the host Redbirds.
But the Lobos failed to score another point in the final 60 seconds of the game, as Illinois State would score four points to secure the win, highlighted by a pair of free throws and a jumper from
guard Paris Lee.
With leading scored Tim Williams out with an injury (head), junior forward Joe Furstinger made his first career start, posting career-highs in points (9) and rebounds (11).
Lee, a 6-1, 185 lbs. senior from Maywood, IL, led the Redbirds in scoring with 18 points on 5 of 11 shooting, including 3 of 7 from behind the arch.
Statistically speaking, the outcome of the game was somewhat of a surprise with UNM leading Illinois State with a healthy margin of points in the paint (28 to 14), rebounds (39 to 32), field goal percentage, and free throw shooting.
But the Redbirds proved to be deadly from downtown, hitting an impressive 14 three-point shots compared to UNM’s four.
The Lobos will look to get back on track when they continue their non-conference schedule against UTEP on Wednesday night at Wise Pies Arena, AKA the Pit.