After the inexplicable loss to San Jose State, the Lobos (14-3, 3-1) needed to make a statement against Fresno State. Despite another slow start from UNM, Vance Jackson would take over and lead the Lobos to a 14 point victory over the Bulldogs, 78-64.
The redshirt-junior finished the night with 29 points and 13 rebounds, giving him consecutive double-doubles for the first time this season. Jackson’s near-perfect night shooting left him one point shy of tying his career-high of 30 points.
Three other Lobos, JaQuan Lyle, Corey Manigault, and Makuach Maluach, would also finish in double figures.
An 11 point run for the UNM late in the first half would give the team the momentum they needed to control the remainder of the game. The Bulldogs would get no closer than seven points in the second half, as their shooting went ice cold.
Even with the victory and extending their unbeaten streak at Dreamstyle Arena, there are still questions surrounding this team. Can this team put together a complete game? Can they respond against some of the better teams in the Mountain West?
To continue answering those questions, the Lobos welcome Air Force (8-8, 2-2) to Albuquerque on Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons have a bit of an uneven season so far. As a service academy, not much more is expected of them, though. That fact also makes their games hard to predict. When teams don’t have high expectations, upsets happen.
Center Ryan Swan leads the way for the Falcons with an average of 14.6 points per game. He’s coming off of his best performance of the season so far, a 31 point and 11-rebound outing against Utah State. Swan has turned it on since just before Christmas and will look to not only disrupt what the Lobos want to do under the glass but also keep the Lobos from getting to the charity stripe.
A win for the Lobos would give them a 12-0 record at home to start the season, their best since 2005. Look for them to contain Swan and improve to 4-1 within the conference.
The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. (mountain) tip-off from Dreamstyle Arena. Fans can watch the game live on Facebook presented by Stadium.