The Lobos entered Wednesday’s game against the Boise State Broncos eleven point underdogs looking for their first road win of the season. After a 28-point blowout loss in which UNM trailed from the opening basket, Paul Weir’s squad is still looking for that elusive first road W.
Five Broncos scored in double digits, led by guard Justinian Jessup’s game-high 23 points on 9 of 12 shooting from the floor and five of seven from behind the arc. Chandler Hutchison posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Alex Hobbs added 18 points off of the bench.
Senior forward Joe Furstinger continued his recent strong play with a team-high 15 points and six rebounds, and Anthony Mathis scored 13 points on a 5 of 11 shooting off the bench to lead the Lobos.
The Broncos dominated nearly every aspect of the game, starting from the opening layup by Zach Haney to the final whistle. Boise State finished the game shooting almost 60% from the floor and 44% from behind the arc, compared to just 35%/22% for the Lobos.
One of the worst rebounding teams in the nation (311th out of 351 teams), the vertically challenged Lobos posted a negative-20 rebound margin as the Broncos dominated the paint and limited UNM’s second-chance points. Boise State’s size and dominance inside resulted in 52 points in the paint compared to just 28 for the Lobos, and UNM’s press defense was ineffective, producing only eight fast break points and 11 points off of turnovers.
On a positive note for UNM, the Lobos continue to be one of the better free throw shooting teams in the nation after hitting 12 of 15 attempts from the stripe, and they turned the ball over four fewer times than the Broncos.
But it is nearly impossible to win when your opponent shoots nearly 60% from the floor, and it is even more difficult when you get outrebounded by 20 boards.
With the loss, the Lobos fall to 6-10 on the year and 1-2 in Mountain West Conference play. New Mexico returns home to DreamStyle Arena for a pair of games against San Jose State and Wyoming before returning to the road against Fresno State on January 13.