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Emptying the notebook: Odds and ends after UNM’s win over Prairie View A&M

Here are a couple of takeaways, a couple stats and a couple other odds and ends from Friday night’s Prairie View A&M at UNM men’s basketball game in Dreamstyle Arena that maybe didn’t make it in the Albuquerque Journal’s print edition, including video (at bottom) of Lobos head coach Paul Weir’s postgame press conference:

Closing time blues

In Friday’s preview article, I pointed out how hard it has been for the Lobos to close out games this season, at least offensively.

That didn’t exactly change on Friday, despite the Lobos pulling out the 87-78 win over visiting Prairie View A&M.

For the 11th time in 13 games, UNM didn’t hit its final shot of the game. That in and of itself is a bit of a random stat that isn’t very telling, but the fact UNM closed out the game hitting just one of its final six shots continues a poor shooting trend at the end of games. UNM hit just one of its final nine shots Tuesday vs. Rice; closed 0-6 vs. Arizona on Dec. 16; 0-8 vs. NMSU on Dec. 9; and 2-13 vs. Colorado on Dec. 6.

While he didn’t address offense specifically, Lobos head coach Paul Weir did acknowledge he wasn’t pleased on Friday with how his team closed the game, especially after going up by 20 points.

“We didn’t really close the game very well, which is just attention to detail,” Weir said. “And, unfortunately, (we were) an inexperienced team not really taking possessions seriously enough being up 20.”

He said he was pleased with the win, but couldn’t deny the last few minutes put “a little bit of a damper” on what was otherwise a good “36 or 37 minutes of fighting through a very fast team.”

League time

Just two Mountain West teams — Colorado State and Nevada — have non-conference games remaining before the 18-game league season begins on Wednesday.

The only team not opening league play in the 11-team Mountain West on Wednesday is UNLV, which opens on Saturday at home vs. Boise State.

Through Friday, here are the records (not really standings, per se, as those only count in league play):

Of Mountain West play, Weir said there are not grand goals or talk of anything but the immediate game ahead, and that is Air Force on Wednesday in the Pit. The Lobos started watching film and getting scouting reports on the Falcons after Friday’s win.

A stat: 53.6 percent

Prairie View A&M shot 53.6 percent in the first half on 15-of-28 shooting. They are the seventh team in the past 10 games that have shot 50 percent or better vs. the Lobos in the first half.

He said it

“It took long enough.”
— Lobo senior forward Joe Furstinger, who played 95 games at UNM before his first double-double on Tuesday night vs. Rice and had his second on Friday, game 97, vs. PVA&M.

Up next for the Lobos

Wednesday: Air Force at UNM, 7 p.m., AT&T SportsNet, 770 AM/94.5 FM
(The opener of Mountain West Conference play for both teams)


Lobo signee Drue Drinnon had himself a night across the map in Fort Myers, Fla., playing in the City of Palms Classic prep tournament, including 20 points and a few highlight plays.

Final stat sheet

Here you go…

Mountain West scores

Mountain West hoops scores from Friday night:
Air Force 111, (NAIA) Johnson & Wales 68
UNM 87, Prairie View A&M 78
UNLV 94, Northern Colorado 91
Nevada 86, Southern Illinois 64 (Las Vegas Classic, Orleans Arena)

Postgame presser

UNM head coach Paul Weir addresses the media after Friday’s Lobo win over Prairie View A&M, 87-78, in Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit. (Geoff Grammer/Albuquerque Journal)