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Emptying the notebook: One fan’s taunts, other odds and ends from UNM’s loss at Utah State

LOGAN, Utah — Here are some extra thoughts, notes, quotes, videos and tweets from Wednesday night’s 89-80 Utah State win over UNM that didn’t make it into the Journal’s print edition:

Unfortunate taunts

The Utah State student section, The Hurd, is one of the the best in terms of numbers and participation in the Mountain West. While not as large as in years past, its place among the league’s top few student sections is secure.

Wednesday night, one student gave the whole section a bad name by repeatedly yelling at University of New Mexico freshman forward Makuach Maluach, “You look like a refugee.”

Over and over again until I finally turned from my media row seat to tell the student that Maluach and his family from the Sudan were, in fact, refugees who fled to Australia when he was much younger.

The fact Maluach and his family members were, in fact, refugees, doesn’t actually matter. What the kid in the Utah State student section was saying was uncalled for.

And to be very clear, I wasn’t the only one who told him something. Several girls sitting near him were telling him to shut up and either that or me telling him what I told him from press row brought an end, finally, to that taunt.

Maluach hit 6 of 9 shots on Wednesday for 15 points, two assists, a steal and six rebounds. It is unclear if he heard the taunts. I asked Lobos coach Paul Weir about it after the game and he didn’t want to talk about it until he learned more about the incident, including talking with Maluach.

For Utah State’s part, I want to be very clear, this wasn’t a chant from more than one individual and several other students were trying to get him to stop. It still, obviously, reflected poorly on the entire student section.

After the game, a Utah State employee talked to me about the incident and the university did nothing to downplay or diminish the incident. I don’t yet know what action, if any, will be taken, but I left the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Wednesday night feeling Utah State was going to do something.

For anyone interested in a little on Maluach’s background, it is touched on some in an article I wrote in December:

Just enough for layup line

The Lobos’ seven-man layup line warming up before the game stood out on its own, but especially when the 24-person Utah State cheerleading squad ran through their warmups shortly before lineups were announced.

The game story addresses the shorthanded roster for the night, but so, too, does the story I wrote Wednesday afternoon from the side of the road between Salt Lake and Logan, updating the suspension of Antino Jackson.

And here is Antino’s apology tweet from Wednesday morning:

Attendance

The announced attendance at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Wednesday night for the UNM at Utah State game was 6,345

More Mountain West baby races!

They must have been expecting a blowout in Logan because fans brought hair dryers to the game. When it was apparent the Lobos were going to keep it close, the fans found other uses for the hair dryers like, naturally, to lure babies to race across the court, the new favorite halftime tradition of several Mountain West Conference teams.

What’s in a name?

Apparently the Utah State radio crew, who also provided the audio to the online stream of the game provided on TheMW.com, made multiple New Mexico State references during the game, an odd occurrence for a school that left the WAC with NMSU for the MWC with UNM.

They also had trouble with Maluach’s name, though that one I’m not as confused by. I’ve heard that butchered by folks all season.

Final stat sheet

Here’s the final stat sheet from Wednesday’s game:

Postgame interview

Here’s video of my postgame interview of Paul Weir as posted on the Journal’s Facebook page:

Meanwhile, back in Albuquerque…

The Lobs men and the Lobo women have still not each won games on the same calendar day. The women won on Wednesday in Albuquerque while the men lost.

Here is colleague Ken Sickenger’s article from the Pit on the Lobo women beating Utah State:

Meanwhile, in Reno…

In a game between two teams that just don’t like each other, league-leading Nevada completed the sweep of Fresno State, returning the favor from last season when the Bulldogs needed the brooms for the regular season sweep.

But, as noted, they don’t like each other very much…

Mountain West scores

There were four games on the MWC schedule on Wednesday instead of the usual five. Boise State, San Diego State and Air Force all had the night off.
• Utah State 89, New Mexico 80
• Wyoming 91, Colorado State 86 (2OT)
• Nevada 102, Fresno State 92
• UNLV 76, San Jose State 67

About that Border War

If the Wyoming Cowboys played, and they did, there’s a good chance you’ll get an overtime game. The Cowboys have played in six overtime games this season, including each of its last three games.

Three of Wyoming’s six OT games have actually been double overtime games and the team is 6-0 in those games.

That’s got to be some sort of record, right? You know my guy Ken Pomeroy has the answer…

Mountain West standings

Here are the standings through Wednesday’s four MWC games, including showing UNM is now in fourth place in the league standings:

And if you like looking at those plus/minus standings where teams get a plus-1 for road wins and minus-1 for home losses, here you go…

Grammer’s Guesses

I can’t catch that damn coin from my daughter’s piggy bank!

The Guesses went 2-1-1 on Wednesday night and I’m now 26-24-3 on the season. The coin also went 2-1-1 and now stands at 28-22-3 on the season.

Until next time…

My usual empty gym picture on the road came after the cleaning crew had already left and the lights were turned out.

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