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Emptying the notebook: February fun, odds and ends from UNM’s win at CSU

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Here are some more notes, quotes, tweets, videos and more that didn’t make it into print after Wednesday night’s 108-87 Lobos win at Colorado State:

February wasn’t so bad

At the beginning of the month, I wrote about how February, historically, has been the worst month on the calendar for the Lobos.

Not anymore.

This season, and this Lobos team, doesn’t seem to care much about things like that. With Wednesday’s blowout win of the CSU Rams in Moby Arena, the Lobos finished February 5-2 (.714 win pct). That’s a huge improvement over the combined 6-19 February record (0.240 win pct) UNM had in the previous three years.

It also improved the program’s all-time Mountain West win percentage in February (19 seasons) to 0.574 with a record of 78-58. That moves February past January’s MWC win percentage of 0.571 (72-54) since the conference began.

Here’s a look at UNM’s Mountain West records by month in the 19 seasons the league has existed, not counting Mountain West Tournament games:

• December: 4-1 (0.800)
• January: 72-54 (0.571)
• February: 78-58 (0.574)
• March: 19-13 (0.594)

Gamer from Fort Collins

Here is the game story I wrote from Moby Arena after Wednesday night’s game.

It was over as it started

The Lobos on Wednesday won the opening tip and never turned back. They scored on the opening possession — a 3-pointer by Chris McNeal — and never trailed.

By the end of the first half, when the Lobos led 58-32 and at one point led by as many as 30 (49-19), here’s what the Rams looked like leaving the floor…

What’s in a number?

227: How many points UNM has scored in two Mountain West road games over eight days on the Front Range — 119 last week in Laramie, Wyo. and 108 on Wednesday in Fort Collins, Colo.

Cooper for the win

Super Lobo fan Rob Montoya, who lives in Fort Collins, had to be stopped.

UNM had lost the last three games he attended live. So, his unborn child stepped up for the good of Lobo Nation.

That was Tuesday.

On Wednesday…

Congratulations, Rob.

And Lobo fans everywhere thank you, Cooper.

Another special visitor

The Lobos had a special visit from former star Royce Olney, who lives in Colorado, on Wednesday night.


The announced attendance for CSU’s Senior Night at Moby Arena: 2,917

He said it

“I don’t think at this point, confidence is our issue, to be honest with you.”
–UNM head coach Paul Weir when asked if his team needed to win Saturday’s game vs.. Fresno State to go into next week’s MWC Tournament on a high note.

Final stat sheet

Series blowouts

Knowing by halftime the game had the potential to get out of hand, I pulled out the media guide and started looking up how many times either team in this 123 game series had won by at least 20 points.

The answer?

• Colorado State has won by 20 or more points against UNM 7 times, all in Fort Collins.
• UNM has won by 20 or more points against CSU 7 times, six in Albuquerque and, now, one in Fort Collins.
• Wednesday was the largest margin of victory for a road win in the series, topping UNM’s 19 point win in Fort Collins in 2008.

Back on Tuesday night…

A night before the rest of the league play played its midweek games, the San Diego State Aztecs won its fifth straight game, beating Boise State.

Aside from the Aztecs, who have Malik Pope back after his name was linked to the most recent FBI probe scandal, showing they are playing well, the win also eliminated for Boise State any chance of catching Nevada for a Mountain West crown.

Which meant…

So, how did Nevada respond?

With the outright Mountain West crown already secured, how did Nevada respond on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, playing in-state rival UNLV in the same arena that will host next week’s MWC Tournament?

Well, I’d say pretty good.

And, as a word of advice to UNLV: Think twice about t-shirt giveaways in the future that have printed on the front “Our State” when playing your instate rivals.

Joy at other end of spectrum, too

Don’t tell San Jose State the season is over. The Spartans snapped a 20-game MWC regular season losing streak dating back to last season with a 64-62 win over Utah State. Sammy Spartan is now 1-16 in league play.

Mountain West scores

Wednesday’s Mountain West scores:
• New Mexico 108, Colorado State 87
• Wyoming 66, Air Force 54
• San Jose State 64, Utah State 62
• Nevada 101, UNLV 75

Tuesday’s Mountain West score:
• San Diego State 72, Boise State 64

Saturday’s Mountain West schedule (final day of regular season):
• San Jose State at Air Force, 2 p.m.
• Wyoming at Boise State, 5 p.m.
• Fresno State at New Mexico, 7 p.m.
• UNLV at Utah State, 7 p.m.
• Nevada at San Diego State, 8 p.m.

Mountain West standings

Here’s a look at the standings in the Mountain West Conference through Wednesday night’s games:

Remeber that one time?

Everyone makes sure to tell us in the media how wrong we are when the preseason polls come out. Then against, while we put so little credence in them in October, it seems to be the No. 1 thing Lobo fans like to talk about now when suggesting Paul Weir is the MWC COach of the Year because of that preseason poll, which then we were told we shouldn’t care about at all.

Regardless, I always post my preseason ballot. Here was mine back in October:

This is sports. So, remember, fans always feel they have to have a hot take. A team can’t be good or average, they’re either the best or garbage.

The first comment left back in October on my preseason MWC predicions tweet when I picked the Lobos 7th, two spots higher than the media poll prediction of 9th, I was called a homer because the Lobos would certainly do no better than 9th.

Matthew, this tweet has not aged well.

Video of post game interview

Here is video of my postgame interview with Weir, posted on the Journal’s Facebook page:

Grammer’s Guesses

I’m doing good, I swear.

The Guesses went 3-1 on Wednesday and I’m now 52-39-3 on the season picking Mountain West games against the Vegas point spread.

But the damn coin from my daughter’s piggy bank also went 3-1 on Wednesday and is now at a breaking Vegas level success rate of 56-35-3 against the spread.

Until next time…