Stevens: Alford's Lobos Use 19-0 Run To Bury Idaho 73-58

Nov. 23, 2012

Final Stats

New Mexico Lobos Men's Basketball - In The Pit

Friday: New Mexico Lobos 73, Idaho Vandals 58
Sunday: 6 p.m., Portland at New Mexico - The Pit

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

If the Idaho Vandals think the soil in New Mexico is cursed, who can blame them?

They might also think Lobo Coach Steve Alford cast a spell on The Pit rims just prior to the second half.

The Vandals made it 0-17 vs. New Mexico teams (Yes, NMSU, too) on New Mexico ground Friday night in The Pit as New Mexico roared out of a 49-46 deficit and slapped a 19-0 defense-led run on Idaho en route to a 73-58 Pit romp.

The Lobos stay undefeated at 5-0 and take that unblemished mark into The Pit Sunday for a 6 p.m. run with Portland.

The Lobos' second-half surge was paced by improved defense and Demetrius Walker, who went 5-of-5 from 3-point range to help UNM pull away. Walker finished with 19 points and was joined in double figures by Kendall Williams (10) and Alex Kirk (11). Kirk added nine boards and Williams and Tony Snell each had seven assists.

The Vandals held a 49-46 lead at the 15:31 mark, but didn't score a field goal again until there was 5:35 to play. By that point, UNM's 19-0 run had produced a 56-49 Lobo lead.

Second Half: New Mexico Lobos 37, Idaho Vandals 22

The Vandals came out of the locker room, scored six, and quickly turned the 36-36 halftime tie into a 42-36 Idaho lead. The Vandals went up 47-41 and 49-46 and then the Lobos used a combination of threes, steals and Pit energy to slide into a 53-49 lead. Fenton scored on a steal and a fast break at 11:42 to finalize that four-point bulge.

Bairstow got a dunk at 8:55 and UNM had a 10-point run. Adams banged in a 3-pointer and the run was 13-0. The Lobos were up 59-49 and took that gap into a break at 7:31. The Vandals hadn't scored a field goal since the 15:31 mark - exactly eight minutes.

The Lobos continued to surge. A layup by Kirk at 6:50 pushed UNM up 62-49. Greenwood made it a 19-0 run with a trey at 6:01 and UNM carried a 65-49 lead into a Idaho break called at 5:51. Yeah, it was over. UNM was shooting 60 percent.

Idaho finally snapped UNM's run and the Vandals' drought at 5:35. The Vandals had gone almost 10 minutes without a field goal.

The Lobos cruised into the 15-point win.

First Half: New Mexico Lobos 36, Idaho Vandals 36

Idaho played well early and at a break at the 13:22 mark led 15-13. Both teams were shooting well: UNM at 55.6 percent and Idaho at 54.5 percent. Idaho had no turnovers at that mark. UNM needed to improve on the defensive end. At the 11:49 break, Idaho was up 17-16 with no significant differences in the major stats.

The Lobos then went on a little run, not much, but a Bairstow dunk followed by a Walker trey pushed UNM up 22-18. The Pit got into it and Idaho signaled for a time - down four at the 9:10 mark.

The Lobos' defense got better. They contested more shots and the Vandals began to miss. Bairstow gave UNM its biggest lead up to that point with two free throws that made it 26-19. The Bengals then answered three times inside, twice in transition: 26-25 and Alford burned a timeout.

A Snell miss led to an Idaho trey: 28-26. Adams scored inside for UNM to tie the game at 28-all. Williams got fouled inside on a follow and make a single free throw: 29-28. That score joined the teams on the sideline at the 3:58 media break. Idaho still had a nice shooting eye at that point, 47.8 percent and UNM wasn't far behind at 43.5 percent. UNM had three more free throws than Idaho.

The Lobos then did damage from long range. Fenton hit a trey and Walker hit a trey and got fouled. He added the bonus and UNM was up 36-28. A trio of UNM turnovers down the stretch helped Idaho form the 36-36 tie. Idaho hit a long trey with 2.9 seconds to play.