McGee leads Lobos to 32-point victory over SJSU

Keith McGee tallied 20 points on Wednesday. It is the second time in three games that he leads his team. Scott Forman/The Lobo Lair

Isabel Gonzalez

New Mexico picked up a 92-60 win over San Jose State on Wednesday night. The Spartans are hardly the toughest opponents UNM has on its schedule, but the Lobos saw this game as a chance to keep improving. This was their third conference win with a margin of 25 points or more.

Redshirt sophomore Keith McGee led the team with 20 points, the most he has scored as a Lobo. During this game he also recorded his highest number of three-pointer attempts (six), three-pointers made (four) and rebounds (four).

Corey Manigault had the second highest score with 17 points. His eight field goals were the most he has collected as a Lobo. 

“I told the team in the locker room after the game, Corey has had a long year in a lot of different ways. But I think over the last couple of weeks he has really committed himself to practicing harder,” said New Mexico head coach Paul Weir. 

While there were some good individual performances and a 32-point win is a nice confidence booster, the game was far from perfect. The Lobos had a goal they needed to meet, which they didn’t.

Prior to the game, head coach Paul Weir and the team had agreed on attempting to keep SJSU under 50 points. The Lobos missed this by 10 points, which McGee said meant waking up early the next day to keep working as a team. 

New Mexico opened the game with a turnover and a foul on Manigault but recovered right away with a three-pointer by McGee. The Spartans responded with a three-pointer of their own and then a jumper to lead 5-3.

By the 15:39 media timeout, the game was tied 9-9. SJSU was shooting at 57.1 percent from the field while New Mexico was at 40 percent. Not too bad, but the Lobos had already picked up two turnovers. A minute later, the Lobos were shooting well under 30 percent.

The home team overcame a slow start and finished the half leading 42-32 with a 44.4 shooting percentage. The Lobos held San Jose State to a 37.1 shooting percentage and no Spartan seeing double digits. 

While Manigault made two mistakes at the very beginning of the first half, he did the opposite during the second period and scored the first two baskets.

In their huddle before the second half started, the Lobos said they would focus on defense. By the 11:32 timeout, SJSU had only scored eight points and gone through a dry spell of three minutes.

Manigault fouled out with four and a half minutes remaining in the game, but his overall performance left the crowd cheering for him.

The Lobos showed a lot of improvement from their last game. Against Nevada on Saturday, they shot at 33.3 percent from the field and tallied 20 turnovers. 

On Wednesday, New Mexico finished with a 50 percent stat from the field and 10 turnovers, which only gave SJSU two points. New Mexico scored 14 points off of the Spartans’ 11 turnovers.

Box score.

SJSU increased its losing streak to 14 and is now 3-20 overall, 0-11 in the conference. The Lobos are still on a losing record but improved to 11-13, 5-7 MW.

Up next, New Mexico hosts Fresno State on Saturday at 5pm.