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Lobos romp past Omaha with a strong second half

The UNM Lobos spent the first half of Tuesday night’s game reminding some overzealous fans that Saturday’s record-setting scoring performance was, indeed, against an overmatched NAIA opponent.

They spent the second half sending optimism through the roof, hitting 13-second half 3-pointers and erupting for 68 points en route to a 103-71 blowout of Division I Omaha.

It was the first time UNM (2-0) scored 100 points or more in back-to-back games since 1998.

The game’s breakneck pace had the Lobos confident it was just a matter of time before Omaha (0-3) was unable to keep up.

“The only thing I noticed was people starting to put their hands on their knees and you start seeing souls huffing and puffing,” said senior Lobo guard Antino Jackson of the second half.

Jackson scored 11 of his 19 points (he also had a game-high five assists and three steals) in the second half. Former junior college scoring champion Troy Simons scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

So, while there may have been some anxious moments over the opening 20 minutes for the announced Dreamstyle Arena crowd of 9,601 when the Lobos led just 35-34 at the break, UNM coach Paul Weir and his staff were not among those worried.

“We talked about it at halftime,” Weir said. “What we’re trying to do is wear people down in a myriad of ways — not just with our defense, but with our offense as well.

“So, as long as our offense is moving and playing at a really good pace, even if we’re not scoring, we’re hopefully wearing down the opponents so that we’ll be able to go on some runs later in the game, or whenever they happen to come. And the reality is, the style we play, it’s really a second-half style of play.”

UNM jumped to an 8-0 lead to start the game, but had no other such runs in a sloppy, but competitive first half. UNM shot 34.1 percent in the opening 20 minutes, including just 4-of-20 (20 percent) of its 3-pointers.

But the “run-and-stun” inspired system worked to perfection after the break.

UNM led 63-57 midway through the half.

Lamar Wofford-Humprey was whistled for a foul with 9:42 left for wrestling with Joe Furstinger for a rebound. Furstinger hit both free throws.

A McNeal steal with 9:31 led to his 3 at 9:21.

Simons came up with a steal with 9:10 left in the half and hit a layup four seconds later, leading to an Omaha timeout. A frustrated forward Daniel Meyer was called for a technical foul, too. Furstinger’s pair of free throws capped the 9-0 run with just 36 seconds ticking off the clock.

UNM led 72-57 with 9:06 remaining.

Later in the half, a 10-0 run in 33 seconds put UNM up 92-62, sparked by a Simons 3-pointer, a Simons steal and a Simons dunk that led the frazzled Mavs to call a timeout they didn’t have, leading to another technical.

“Everything I do, I feed off the crowd,” said Simons. “My teammates told me to shoot the ball. They were encouraging me to shoot and I was feeling it from the crowd.”

UNM hit 13 3-pointers in the second half, six in 22 minutes off the bench by Simons, and finished the game with hitting 17-of-39 (43.6 percent) from beyond the arc. UNM also hit its team goal in offensive rebounds with 19 (the goal is 15), leading to 16 second-chance points. The Lobos forceed 26 turnovers that led to 39 points. Four Lobos scored in double figures, including Sam Logwood with 19 points, including 10-of-11 on free throws.

Omaha shot 38.6 percent in the game and had four players scoring in double figures.

AUCTION: UNM wore turquoise jerseys as part of its annual partnership with the Nike N7 program to honor Native American Heritage Month. The game-worn jerseys of Lobo players were auctioned off and raised $2,525 that will be split between UNM’s American Indian Student Services center and the NB3 Foundation.

Friday

UNM at NMSU

Pan American Center (Las Cruces), 7 p.m., 770 AM/94.5 FM, AggieVision

NEW MEXICO 103,

OMAHA 71

OMAHA

FG    FT    Reb

Min    M-A    M-A    O-T    A    PF    Pts

Hahn    21    5-10    3-4    0-2    1    2    16

Meyer    16    0-2    1-2    2-7    0    4    1

Z.Jackson    26    4-9    5-8    1-7    1    0    16

Norl    31    3-11    3-4    0-7    2    1    10

Robinson    30    3-8    0-0    0-2    1    1    7

Gibson    28    4-9    3-3    0-5    4    2    12

Humphrey    17    0-1    0-0    0-0    1    4    0

Akinwole    12    0-2    0-2    0-0    1    1    0

Allbery    11    1-3    2-2    1-1    1    3    5

Pile    8    2-2    0-1    3-3    0    3    4

Totals    200    22-57    17-26    7-34    12    21    71

Percentages: FG .386, FT .654.

3-Point Goals: 10-30, .333 (Hahn 3-6, Z.Jackson 3-6, Allbery 1-2, Robinson 1-4, Gibson 1-5, Norl 1-5, Akinwole 0-1, Wofford-Humphrey 0-1).

Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 26 (13 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 2 (Meyer, Z.Jackson).

Turnovers: 26 (Robinson 6, Allbery 4, Norl 4, Z.Jackson 4, Hahn 3, Gibson 2, Wofford-Humphrey 2, Akinwole).

Steals: 9 (Akinwole 3, Robinson 2, Allbery, Hahn, Norl, Z.Jackson).

Technical Fouls: None.

FG        FT    Reb

UNM    Min    M-A    M-A    O-T    A    PF    Pts

Furstinger    24    3-6    5-5    2-8    2    3    11

A.Jackson    24    7-11    0-0    0-4    5    2    19

McNeal    27    3-7    1-5    0-2    3    0    9

Kuiper    19    0-3    0-0    0-1    2    1    0

Logwood    23    4-11    10-11    5-5    2    3    18

Simons    22    8-16    2-2    3-5    4    1    24

Maluach    18    4-7    0-0    0-5    1    2    9

Mathis    16    3-9    0-0    0-2    1    3    9

Pinchuk    13    1-3    0-1    3-5    1    4    2

Simmons    12    1-4    0-0    2-4    0    0    2

Mondragon    2    0-0    0-0    0-0    0    0    0

Totals    200    34-77    18-24    15-41    21    19    103

Percentages: FG .442, FT .750.

3-Point Goals: 17-39, .436 (Simons 6-11, A.Jackson 5-7, Mathis 3-7, McNeal 2-6, Maluach 1-2, Simmons 0-1, Furstinger 0-2, Kuiper 0-3).

Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 18 (39 PTS).

Blocked Shots: 5 (Furstinger 4, Simmons).

Turnovers: 18 (Furstinger 5, A.Jackson 3, Logwood 2, McNeal 2, Pinchuk 2, Simons 2, Maluach, Simmons).

Steals: 11 (Simons 4, A.Jackson 3, McNeal 2, Furstinger, Logwood).

Technical Fouls: None.

Omaha          34  37—    71

New Mexico    35  68—103

A—9,601 (15,411).

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