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Lobos extend winning streak to three games

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By The Staff

The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team forced 23 turnovers and racked up 13 3-pointers en route to its third-straight victory on Saturday night at Dreamstyle Arena - The Pit. The Lobos dominated the visiting Colorado State Rams by a score of 80-65 to claim a solo third place in the Mountain West.

Four Lobos led the squad scoring in double figures including senior Joe Furstinger (13), junior Anthony Mathis (13) and senior Antino Jackson (12). Junior Troy Simons was the fourth double-digit scorer on the night, also posting a team-best 13 points in his return back to the court.

Simons has not played in the last five games for UNM.

Jackson added a season-high 11 assists to his 13 points for UNM’s second point-assist double-double of the season.

Junior Chris McNeal tallied one in the first game of the season against Northern New Mexico, which marked the first for a Lobo since March 2, 2014.

“I thought this was a gritty game from the standpoint of ‘this was a very easy let-up game’ that we could have lost, and I’m proud of the guys for working through and getting a win,” head coach Paul Weir said. “But I thought we slipped a little this week. I thought we were a little comfortable all the way around ... we didn’t have the same edge. I thought that showed up a little bit tonight and we have to get that back every night.”

The Lobos got the scoring started nearly a minute and a half into the the game with a jumper by freshman Vladimir Pinchuk, followed closely by back-to-back layups from CSU’s Che Bob and Furstinger to make it 4-2 UNM. Another Ram layup tied it for the second time, 4-4, at the 17:24 mark before Mathis drained his first of four 3-pointers to put UNM ahead - and the Lobos never looked back.

After leading 44-32 at halftime, the Lobos cruised to an 80-65 win with a solid second half, which was sealed with Furstinger’s dunk with 17 seconds remaining.   

“Yeah, I mean it’s always nice going on a little winning streak, but we’re still not satisfied,” Furstinger said. “We’ve still got to come out every night and compete with whatever team we play.”