Lobos break losing streak with 77-65 victory over Rams

Isabel Gonzalez

The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team broke its three-game losing streak with a 77-65 win over the Colorado State Rams at The Pit on Saturday night.
The Lobos average 37.3 rebounds per game. On Saturday, New Mexico had a great rebounding night, beating CSU 47-25 in this stat. Sophomore Makuach Maluach led the Lobos with a season-high 23 points. He registered a double-double by also adding 10 rebounds.
UNM’s shooting improved dramatically from their 89-82 loss to San Jose State earlier this week, but what happened during that game was something that Lobo head coach Paul Weir didn’t want to dwell on too much. His focus was solely on Colorado State.
Last time the two teams faced each other, commentators said the game was an “absolute clinic” against the New Mexico zone defense. The Rams were able to shoot over 70 percent from the field for most of the first period. This time, the Lobo defense regrouped and had a better performance. But the coach admitted that the improvement also had to do with the Rams’ lineup.
“If you remember that game, I thought their speed really bothered us. (Hyron) Edwards was out tonight. He really hurt us on that game with his speed.” Weir said. “I thought their lineup tonight was a little slower which kind of suited us a little bit better. We didn’t really get too carried away with things. We just wanted to keep them off the backboard, specially (Nico) Carvacho, that was our number one goal.”

Carvacho still had a good night, leading Colorado State with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
New Mexico outrebounded the Rams 22-13 during the first period. The Lobos also had seven more free throw attempts than CSU (10-3). However, the visiting team only found itself trailing by eight points at halftime with a score of 35-27. Maluach led all scorers with 13 points on 5-8 shooting that included one of New Mexico’s three three-pointers.
The Lobos didn’t lose any of their momentum in the second period. While they shot at 43.3 percent from the field during the first half, they improved their offense to 50 percent in the second period. Their largest lead of the night happened with 7:31 to go as they were up by 19 points with a score of 62-43.

Senior Dane Kuiper was back during this game. While he only attempted two shots and made zero points, Weir said his presence was still felt. After practice on Thursday, Kuiper said he didn’t feel 100 percent healthy yet, but that he felt good enough to be back on the court for the rest of the season.
“He’s still, even at whatever percent he is now, probably our best defensive player. Dane is a terrific defender,” the coach said. “He’s a veteran, he’s been around. He looked a little rusty tonight, you could tell, specially on the offensive end of the court. Probably did some things that made him look rusty but he’s just such a valuable defender for us. Hopefully he can get back into a little bit of a rhythm offensively.”
With Saturday’s result, New Mexico improves to a 12-16 overall, 6-10 in the Mountain West conference. The Rams drop to 12-17, 7-9 MW. Up next, New Mexico hosts Boise State on Wednesday for a 7pm matchup. This game will be Senior Night for Dane Kuiper and Anthony Mathis.

  • This was senior Dane Kuiper’s first game back from sitting out due to knee tendonitis.
  • Sophomore Vladimir Pinchuk did not register any minutes due to a bruised tailbone.