Sam Logwood scored a game-high 17 points as the Lobos continued their strong play on the road with a 74-67 win over Air Force on Wednesday night in Colorado Springs.
Dane Kuiper provided a spark off the bench for the Lobos in his first action since sustaining an injury against Nevada back in January. Kuiper’s 12 points, including 4 of 5 from behind the arc, helped the Lobos overcome a disappointing shooting day from Elijah Brown.
Brown, a redshirt junior from Orange County, California and leading active scorer on the team this season, made only three of 13 shots from the floor but did help the team with six big free throws and a team-high four assists.
With 13 ties, the game was close from the opening tip to the final few minutes of play, as the Lobos finally pulled away late with stellar free throw shooting down the stretch.
UNM shot a pedestrian 42% from the floor, and 36% from behind the arc, but the true story lies in the fact that the Lobos managed a mere five turnovers on the game compared to 13 for the Falcons.
A plus-8 turnover margin in an otherwise evenly matched game is a huge advantage and proved to be a deciding factor for the Lobos.
“We didn’t turn the ball over tonight,” said UNM head coach Craig Neal. “We made timely shots and made some threes.”
Timely shots and protecting the ball gave the Lobos their first win at Air Force since the 2011-12 season. The Lobos are now 15-10 on the season, and 8-5 in Mountain West Conference play, just one game behind conference-leading Nevada and Boise State.
The Lobos have a chance to close the gap on the Broncos when the two teams face off on Valentine’s Day at Wise Pies Arena, AKA the Pit. UNM defeated Boise State 81-70 when the two schools met back in January.