SAN JOSE, Calif. — The UNM Lobos beat San Jose State on Friday night by 28 points, ending a four-game losing stream and reaching 20 wins for the first time since 2014.
The Journal’s Geoff Grammer was there to cover the game and talk with those involved after the game. Here are some of their key takeaways:
1. UNM coach Richard Pitino on the upbeat, loose demeanor of his team on Friday as opposed to during two recent losses:
“I didn’t feel like I was coaching my team versus Air Force and Wyoming. We were so out of sync. And part of that is when you take one of the best guards in the country out of your lineup in the middle of the season, it’s just hard.
“That (Friday’s game) felt like the team I’ve coached all year. They played hard, they competed. They just felt comfortable in their role. Everything was a little bit more in sync.”
2. UNM guard Jamal Mashburn, Jr., on the lead up to Friday’s game:
“We had two great practices before this game, so our preparation was was there and our energy was there. I think the teams that have the most energy during this time period are going to flourish. And I think we had the most energy today. If we can just continue to build off that, just continue to steamroll that energy … we’ll be just fine.”
3. San Jose State coach Tim Miles, whose team lost this season to the Lobos by 20 points and 28 points:
“I don’t know if it’s a bad matchup or what, but you have to credit New Mexico. They were the aggressor, and the aggressor wins. Their offense played harder than our defense. Their defense played harder than our offense. And they just did it repeatedly. They got us on our heels on O and we couldn’t sustain any kind of defensive pressure. They just bulldozed us.”
4. Pitino on the biggest difference he saw between when Jaelen House was out and in his return from injury on Friday:
“I felt like with House out, we felt like ‘OK, we got a score to replace him.’ And we didn’t have a defensive mindset versus Air Force and Wyoming. Today, we got back to team defense. We were not consumed with offense. And amazing, we scored 96 points in a league game on the road, which is hard to do. So I just thought it was a mentality. … This time, we had a rhythm with our subs, and we were going all out and it was terrific performance.”
5. Pitino on Morris Udeze’s big game (31 points, 12 rebounds):
“He was terrific down low. He made his free throws and our guys found him. We’ve been really harping on — we got to find him. He’s one of the best big guys in the league. But he was very very poised at the basket because Diallo (SJSU’s 7-foot center Ibrahima Diallo) is huge and Mo did a great job of making some really good moves.”
See below for more coverage from Friday’s game:
GAME STORY: Lobos cruise at San Jose State in Jaelen House’s return to action
EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK: Jaelen House’s return was huge for Lobos, but Morris Udeze might have sent the loudest message