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LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — New Mexico appeared to be unprepared for Texas Tech Wednesday night when the Lobos trailed by 15 points midway through the first half.
When New Mexico made it to the locker room trailing by six, coach Steve Alford did not have much to say to his entire team, but chose to address his three senior leaders — A.J. Hardeman, Dairese Gary and Phillip McDonald.
“I didn’t think they were ready to play,” Alford said. “I didn’t think that they led well. We are a very young basketball team. Our young guys are doing a great job. But they need help and the upperclassmen are the key to this thing.”
All three players answered the call, combining for 21 of New Mexico’s 34 points in the second half to help the Lobos hold on for a 61-60 victory.
McDonald proved to be one of the hotter hands down the stretch, hitting two big 3-pointers to give New Mexico its first lead of the game as it outscored Texas Tech 13-2 to start the second half. He finished with 12 points to lead the Lobos, followed by Alex Kirk’s 10.
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