Jamal Mashburn Jr. led all scorers with 21 points, and Gethro Muscadin added 18 points and ten rebounds as the UNM Lobos beat the visiting Montana State Bobcats 81-78 at the Pit on Saturday afternoon.
The Lobos led for nearly 31 minutes of play but never built more than an eight-point advantage in what turned out to be a closer game than expected.
Both teams were nearly even in shooting from the field, in rebounds, and turnovers, while the Bobcats held the advantage at the free-throw line with 84% from the charity stripe.
The most significant discrepancy in the game was the advantage the Bobcats had down low, with a plus-22 advantage in points in the paint.
The game’s outcome could have been significantly different had leading scorer Jaelen House not left with an injury with 7:33 remaining in the game. The junior guard from Phoenix, AZ, left with a painful ankle sprain while diving for a loose ball.
Coach Richard Pitino said after that game House told him that “if you need me, I can go back in. We will see tomorrow. But I’m hopeful it’s just a sprain.”
The 3-1 Lobos are back at it on Monday with a home matchup against Western New Mexico at the Pit. Montana State returns home to take on the Portland Pilots on Black Friday.