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Emptying the notebook: Joementum builds and odds and ends after UNM’s win over Air Force

Here are some odds & ends from Wednesday night’s Air Force at UNM men’s basketball game that maybe didn’t make it in the Albuquerque Journal’s print edition, including video of the postgame presser at the bottom:

The #Joementum continues

OK, now it’s just getting ridiculous.

Lobo senior Joe Furstinger in Wednesday night’s 87-58 win over Air Force scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his third — yes, THIRD — consecutive double-double.

Some context:

Furstinger’s first 95 games at UNM:
• 1 double-digit scoring game
• 0 double-doubles

Furstinger’s last three games (games 96, 97, 98):
• 3 double-digit scoring games
• 3 double-doubles

“I think with him, it’s just staying confident with him,” said UNM junior guard Dane Kuiper. “He really feeds off the coach’s energy and our energy. So, when we have really good energy, he’s playing great and he’s getting rebounds. He creates his his own momentum too — Joementum, as they call it.”

Hat tip to @Lobolaneblog for coining the social media hashtag #Joementum a season ago and taking it to new levels this season.

But whether the streak continues or not, consider this: The last Lobo to record three consecutive double-doubles was Tim Williams, who did so more than two years ago from Nov. 21-Dec. 1, 2015, against USC, Nicholls State and Oral Roberts.

And while we’re throwing around names of great former Lobo forwards, how’s this?

Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich told me after Wednesday’s game that Furstinger is playing with Cameron Bairstow type confidence offensively around the rim.

Yeah, but…

OK. Before Furstinger’s head gets too big, I better point out that his consecutive free throws made streak of 20 in a row, including 12-of-12 in last week’s win over Prairie View A&M, ended when he missed his first free throw of Wednesday’s game.

He did hit his next two, though, and is still shooting 88.4 percent on the seasn. Not bad for a guy who shot just 57.1 percent for his freshman season three years ago.

He said it…

“Dane Kuiper probably had the best first 20 minutes of defense that we’ve had out of an individual player this year. It was absolutely exceptional.”
— UNM Lobos head coach Paul Weir

Key number: 20

The 20 points scored by Air Force in the first half was a season low for the Falcons (previous low was 23 in the second half vs. Army on Dec. 17) and a season low for a Lobos opponent (previous low was 27 by Evansville in the first half on Nov. 29).

The 16-point advantage at halftime for UNM, which led 36-20, also marked the largest margin UNM outscored an opponent in a half since out-scoring Omaha 68-37 in the second half on Nov. 14, the second game of the season.

Key number, part 2: 7

UNM has won its Mountain West opener for seven consecutive seasons. It’s last 0-1 start to league play was in the 2010-11 season when it opened up MWC action with a road loss at Wyoming.

Speaking of…

Elsewhere…

There were other Mountain West openers on Wednesday night, too. None were as surprising as Wyoming’s 82-69 win in Laramie over San Diego State.

While the win itself wasn’t entirely surprising, how it happened was in both margin of victory and with Hayden Dalton going off for 36 points against an Aztecs team that, frankly, didn’t used to let such things happen in league play.

Up next for the Lobos

Saturday: UNM at Nevada, 3 p.m., AT&T SportsNet, 770 AM/94.5 FM

Attendance

The announced attendance for Air Force at UNM in Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit on Wednesday night: 10,514

Final stats

Mountain West scores

Here are Wednesday night’s Mountain West hoops scores:
• New Mexico 87, Air Force 58
• Wyoming 82, San Diego State 69
• Utah State 86, San Jose State 72
• Boise State 93, Colorado State 71
• Nevada 80, Fresno State 65

NOTE: Home teams went 4-1 on Wednesday

Mountain West standings

Here are the Mountain West standings through Wednesday’s games (UNLV was only league team with the night off):

Grammer’s Guesses

I like looking foolish in public, so I pick every Mountain West game against the point spread all conference season (and, good or bad, always point out how I did). Wednesday, I went 3-2.

Postgame presser

Here is the video of Paul Weir addressing the media after Wednesday’s win:

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