U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The Lobos have gone from spending half a season giving hope to fans and half a season of disappointing them to now squeezing it all into one game.
The Lobos fell behind big early, then played uncharacteristically high-energy defense, had a freshman and walk-on sophomore take the place of veterans continuing to struggle or show poor effort (one was even left home from the trip altogether for discipline). They led late, dived for loose balls, then couldn’t score in the final 5 minutes, 4 seconds and again had horrible late-game execution.
In the end, the Air Force Falcons scored the final eight points on Wednesday night in Clune Arena, including a Sid Tomes 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining, for a 60-58 win over the free-falling Lobos, who have now lost five in a row and 10 of their last 12 games.
After the game, after praising some of his players’ effort and defense at times, UNM coach Paul Weir made it clear the Lobos (17-13, 6-11 Mountain West) are not yet waving the white flag on the once-promising season that now could see the team drop to as low as the No. 9 seed in next week’s conference tournament.