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Emptying the Notebook: Oh, what a finish for Lobos, Broncos

Boise State’s Justinian Jessup’s final 3-point attempt on Wednesday in the Pit. (Geoff Grammer/Journal video screen shot)

Here are some extra notes, quotes, tweets, stats, observations, videos or whatever else I could empty out of the old notebook after Wednesday’s 80-78 UNM win over the Boise State Broncos:

Oh, that ending…

There were 17 lead changes on Wednesday night with three coming in the final 62 seconds.

The game was, to say the least, entertaining.

There were plenty of stretches of the game that were entertaining and featured big plays and big moments from both teams, neither of which backed down. For this column, though, I just want to look at those final 62 seconds.

• 1:02 left in game: JaQuan Lyle draws foul No. 7 in the game, this one from Justinian Jessup, who was matched up against him on the top of the key way too many times on Wednesday, a matchup that was simply unfair for Jessup, who actually is a good defender, but not against Lyle.

Lyle hit both free throws to give UNM a 77-76 lead.

• 0:42.2 left in game: Alex Hobbs draws a fowl from Zane Martin, leading to a pair of free throws that gave Boise State a 78-77 lead.

• 0:34.8 left in game: J.J. Caldwell dishes his seventh assist of the game to Carlton Bragg for an easy layup and a 79-78 lead for the Lobos.

And then, agonizing drama, including lots of referee delays and video reviews.

• 0:18.7 left in game: Makuach Maluach blocked a Justinian Jessup shot with the ball going out of bounds to the Broncos. After a lot of passing around the perimeter for Boise State with a scrambling Lobos defense largely rotating well, the ball found its way to the hands of Alex Hobbs for a corner 3-point try.

He missed, leading to Zane Martin grabbing a rebound and getting fouled.

• 0:02.1 left: Zane Martin hit 1 of 2 free throws for an 80-78 Lobos lead. That led to a three quarters court inbounds pass, stolen by J.J. Caldwell, who stepped out of bounds with 0.9 left in the game.

• 0:00.9 left in game: Justinian Jessup, who torched the Lobos for six 3-pointers already, got a much better look at a would-be game-winning 3-pointer than most Lobo fans would have liked, but…

The gamer…

Here’s the gamer I filed from the Pit media room on Wednesday night:

Through 10

The Lobos 8-2 start through 10 games is the program’s best since a 10-0 start in the 2012-13 season.

In Craig Neal’s four seasons after that, the program had three 7-3 starts and one 6-4.

In Paul Weir’s first two seasons, the Lobos started 3-7 and 5-5 through 10 games.

He said it

“Last year, some of the games we lost were close games and we couldn’t close them out. This year, we have a way older team. We’re more mature. We have guys that have played a lot of basketball, so we know what needs to be done.”— UNM junior Makuach Maluach

Lighten the load for Lyle?

The old man, by age, on the Lobos is JaQuan Lyle, the 23-year-old who also happens to be coming off a torn Achilles injury from last season.

So him playing 39 minutes and leading the team in minutes per game might be a concern, but they needed every minute of it Wednesday as he scored 31 points and dished out six assists.

Asked about his minutes, Lyle said “For the most part, I feel good. When it’s go time, I’ll be ready.”

This is a topic I’ll expand more on for an article later this week.

A number to know: 6

UNM had a season low six turnovers on Wednesday.

It’s actually the third consecutive game the Lobos have taken good care of the basketball after posting a season-worst 24 turnovers in the embarrassing Nov. 25 loss to Auburn.

• UNM through its first seven games (5-2 record): 17.7 turnovers/game
• UNM through its last three games (3-0 record): 9.3 turnovers/game

Meanwhile, in Boise…

So, here’s how the ball bounces on a home court…

While the Boise State men were down 2 points and missed a would-be game-winning 3-pointer playing on the road at UNM, the Boise State women’s team, down 2 points with 10 seconds remaining on their home court on Wednesday night in Boise, turned to Mallory McGwire, who hit the 3-pointer to beat the UNM Lobos women’s team:

src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″>Plus/minAround the Mountain

All 11 Mountain West teams were in action on Wednesday night with 10 playing in league games. Five more league games, and one non-conference one, are on tap for the weekend.

WEDNESDAY
• San Diego State 79, Colorado State 57
• UNM 80, Boise State 78
• Air Force 86, Wyoming 77
• UNLV 81, Fresno State 80 (2OT)
• Utah State 71, San Jose State 59

(non-conference game)
• Nevada 98, Santa Clara 67

SATURDAY
• Fresno State at No. 25 Utah State
• New Mexico at Wyoming
• Nevada at Air Force
• Colorado State at Boise State

Non-conference game:
• UNLV vs. BYU (Salt Lake City)

SUNDAY
• San Jose State at San Diego State

Mountain West standings

Through Wednesday’s first batch of league games, here are the Mountain West standings (alphabetical if tied):

1-0 Air Force
1-0 New Mexico
1-0 San Diego State
1-0 UNLV
1-0 Utah State
0-0 Nevada
0-1 Boise State
0-1 Colorado State
0-1 Fresno State
0-1 San Jose State
0-1 Wyoming

Meanwhile, down under…

We interrupt this column to offer up an update on former Lobo Darington Hobson, who has signed to play in Australia…

• 10,301

And what about those students?

Pregame pic as starting lineups were being announced:

And if ystats for the Lobos, with minutes played in parenthesis:

+14 Makuach Maluach (26:59)
+4 C
:04)
+2 Z
)
0 Ja

0 Ke

0 Ta

-1 V
57)
-2 J
:45)
-7 C
:48)

Box score

Here is a pic of the box score passed out on media row after the game:

Up nextCLICK HERE.Another number to know: 3.2 to 1The Lobos assist to turnover ratio on Wednesday of 3.2 to 1 (19 assists to six turnovers) was easily a season best.Postgame video: Weir, Lyle, Maluach

Here's the video of the postgame press conference with Paul Weir, JaQuan Lyle and Makuach Maluach, as posted to the Journal's YouTube page:

And at halftime...

On Sunday, UNM hit a home run with their baby race at halftime, always a crowd favorite.

On Wednesday, I'm not sure who in the arena even knew what was going on for most of the halftime as the UNM e-sports team played a video game competition against the New Mexico Tech e-sports team that was shown on the video board in the Pit.

For most, who weren't watching and some who had no idea what they were watching, it was just noise.

J.J. again

Junior point guard J.J. Caldwell had another another strong game for the Lobos without dominating the scoring portion of the stat sheet, though he did have eight points. More important, he played good defense and had a game-high seven assists.

His role on the team, and whether he can prove to be enough of a scoring threat for teams to have to extend farther out on the perimeter to guard him, is something he and I talking about in Episode 24 of the Talking Grammer podcast:

Podcast archive: HERE

You can listen to the podcast right here (hit the play button on the pretty little graphic below this paragraph) or find the Talking Grammer Podcast on Soundcloud or iTunes.

Grammer's Guesses

The first night of the Mountain West schedule means the first batch of Grammer's Guesses for the season.

Here's a quick refresher of what the Guesses are, and an update on the new feature this season.

The Guesses are my picks against the Las Vegas point spreads for all Mountain West games. But, to prove just how little I know, I invite my 10-year-old daughter to pick games by flipping a coin. This is the third year of that, and, yes, she beat me two years ago doing it.

This year, with a new addition in the house, we now will have one game randomly selected for the Baby Girl Grammer Bonus Game where my 4-month-old daughter will pick a game (basically her big sister holds two toys in front of her little sister and if she picks the toy in the right hand, she's picking the road team, left hand home team). It's really complicated stuff. I wouldn't recommend trying this at home.

So, here are the first night's results:

The Guesses went 2-3. My 10-year-old daughter's #TeamCoin coin flip picks when 1-4 against the point spread. And the first-ever Baby Girl Grammer Bonus Game pick was a winner, going 1-0.

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