Home New mexico united Men’s basketball falls to CSU 83-68

Men’s basketball falls to CSU 83-68

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The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team lost to the Colorado State University Rams 83-68 Thursday, February 17 at The Pit.

The Rams came to Albuquerque at No. 3 in the Mountain West Conference and on a four-game winning streak. The Lobos hoped for another upset after beating the University of Wyoming on Tuesday, Feb. 15, but failed.

Colorado State features star forward David Roddy, who averaged 19.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game this season. The Lobos lost their opener to the Rams, 80-74, in January.

Early in the game, UNM took too many quick threes – four of their first six shots – and Roddy scored his first four field goals to give his side a 12-2 lead four minutes into the game. However, the Lobos quickly responded with a flurry of dunks, threes and steals to cut the lead to 17-16 with 12:02 to go in the first half. Once that lead was closed, the rest of the half was still within one possession with 14 lead changes in the first half alone.

KJ Jenkins was the first player off the UNM bench and had his first three shots for seven points. Jaelen House led the Lobos with 11 first-half points, five steals and a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line with Jamal Mashburn Jr. grabbing four rebounds. Seven Lobos scored in the first half.

Roddy was as efficient as ever and scored 15 points to lead the Rams in the first half. The Lobos kept every other CSU player under seven points.

CSU came out of the half pushing the ball hard down the field. UNM center Sebastian Forsling committed a third quick foul in the opening minute and was forced out of the game, putting the Lobos at a significant disadvantage.

The Lobos, who had done a good job on the boards in the first half, began losing the rebound battle to the Rams. CSU outshot UNM 36-27 in the second half, which resulted in nine more field goal attempts. The Rams also destroyed the Lobos in the paint 44-22 with Roddy becoming more available under the basket for layups.

In the end, the Rams’ physique was too much for the Lobos to overcome, and CSU won 83-68. Despite being out for an extended period due to foul issues, Roddy shot 8-11 for 16 points in the second half. Overall, Roddy finished with 31 points and 9 rebounds for the game total.

After the game, UNM forward Javonté Johnson said Roddy was a very difficult player to guard and the Lobos couldn’t sustain their energy in the second half.

“I think in the first half we had a lot of energy and everyone was in line with what we needed to do,” Johnson said. “In the second half, I feel like we took our foot off the pedal a bit.”

Johnson said UNM chose not to overtake Roddy at the post because of his passing ability. UNM head coach Richard Pitino said the strategy worked to limit CSU’s support players in the first half, but the Lobos started having issues with their ball movement once CSU began turning on UNM screens. Pitino also said he thinks CSU is a good enough team to make the NCAA Sweet 16.

“We were stuck,” Pitino said. “We didn’t trust our ball movement and our movement as a player, and we kind of looked at House and Mash (burn). House and Mash (burn) are the reason we won 11 games but we need to do a much better job…because it was just too much dribbling, dribbling, dribbling.

The Lobos will be on the road next week to play San Jose State, which the Lobos beat 86-70 in January, on Sunday, Feb. 20, and next face Utah State, to whom they lost in overtime, on Tuesday. February 22. UNM will then return to The Pit on Saturday, February 26 to take on the United States Air Force Academy.

Matthew Salcido is the Daily Lobo’s sports editor. He can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @baggyeyedguy