UNM run past Houston Baptist 98-61

Demetrius Walker 14 points and 8 assists

Even though it was expected, the UNM men's basketball team's 98-61 victory over visiting Houston Baptist was still a stunning display of dominance before an announced crowd of 12,789 at The Pit Wednesday night. How dominant were the Lobos? Let us count the ways…

New Mexico cruised to its 11th win in a row by starting hot. The Lobos hit nine of their first 11 shots and shot 73% (22-of-33) shooting in the first half – including 5-of-9 from the three-point line to take a dominating 53-29 halftime lead. The Lobos were tied at 2-2 and 4-4 early on but never trailed, opening up the throttle to go on a 14-4 run to take an 18-8 lead that would increase to a 24 points advantage by halftime.

"Well I am really pleased with the effort tonight," said head coach Steve Alford. "These guys did a really good job with effort and I thought we got it again tonight. They were really focused, we moved the ball well again tonight, and with 24 assists in the game and that is a lopsided score."

Junior Tony Snell scored a game-high 18 points  with four assists while senior Drew Gordon posted his 8th double-double of the season and junior transfer Demetrius Walker scored a career-high in points and assists with14 points and 8 assists.

"We just have to come out and win regardless of who we're playing," said Walker, who came off the bench. "It's still something that I've been getting used to (coming off the bench). When I was at Arizona State I did the same thing. This year I've still trying to get into flow of things. I'm really feeling pretty good coming off the bench."

The only drama in the game came when freshman guard Hugh Greenwood injured his right ankle while fighting for a defensive rebound at the 17:37 mark of the second half.

Greenwood jammed his right foot into the base of the standard holding the backboard and was helped off the court. Greenwood, who scored 10 points and had three assists in his 16 minutes of play, was helped up the ramp. He later returned with ice on his ankle and did not return to the game.

""I hope it's not bad, we haven't got any x-rays or anything, but it is a little bit of a high ankle sprain which has bothered him this past summer," said Alford. "It's the same foot so we hope there are no lingering issues there. He will obviously get a lot of treatment within the next 72 hours."

UNM dominated on the defensive boards, out rebounding the Huskies 29 to 16 but just edge HBU 38-34 overall on rebounds. But the Lobo vastly outscored the Huskies 44-28 in the paint and had 21 points to HBU's seven on fast break opportunities.

New Mexico's bench outscored Houston Baptist's 42-29 and UNM has 12 steals compared to HBU, who had 13 turnovers compared to the Lobos' 10.

UNM finished with 37-of-58 shooting (63.8%,) the highest shooting percentage of an Alford-coached team at UNM.

New Mexico plays North Dakota (5-8) in the Lobos' final non-conference game of the season Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at The Pit. The Fightin' Sioux, who play in the Great West Conference along with HBU, last played on Dec. 31 when they lost 84-58 at No. 17 Kansas.

Saturday's game will be televised on Albuquerque's My50 TV and broadcast on 770 AM KKOB as well as the Lobo Radio Network.

UNM begins conference play at Wyoming (13-2) on Sat. Jan. 14 at 3:30 p.m. The Cowboys beat Utah Valley University 76-70 Wednesday night in Orem, Utah. UVU is also a member of the Great West Conference.

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