It took the New Mexico Lobos just 10 seconds to get their first basket against the CSU Rams, and for the rest of the game the Lobos didn’t stop dominating, handing CSU its worst loss in more than 20 years, a 91-51 shellacking Wednesday night in Albuquerque, N.M..
The Rams (6-16, 0-8) trailed by as many as 46 points with just 3:03 remaining, and the final 40-point margin was the worst defeat since losing 108-62 to Oklahoma during the 1986-87 season.
The Rams never led in the game, as the Lobos (17-6, 4-4) dominated in every area, especially on defense and from long range. New Mexico shot 12-20 on 3-pointers and held the Rams to just 17-50 shooting in the game, a season low.
CSU coach Tim Miles felt after the game that perhaps the atmosphere at the Pit, New Mexico’s hostile arena, got to the Rams.
“I thought we saw a complete lack of trust and discipline when things when down. Basketball is a game where you create for your teammates, always. You help your teammates, always. We didn’t do that, we didn’t create for a teammate,” Miles said, “Often times I’ve found when an atmosphere gets boisterous, guys clam up; they just shut down. When you go on the road into an environment like this, guys shut down.”
It was complete domination for the Lobos, as they finished off the first half on a 22-6 run to extend a 28-18 lead into a 50-24 lead at the half.
The Lobos then held the Rams scoreless until the 6:24 mark in the second half, extending their lead to 65-24.
The Lobos jumped to a quick 7-0 lead, before CSU’s Andre McFarland scored five points to pull the Rams as close as they would get with 16:11 remaining in the first.
Chad Toppert led the Lobos with 22 points, including five 3-pointers, and J.R. Giddens was outstanding with 19 points and seven rebounds.
The Lobos did a great job defending the Rams guard Marcus Walker, who entered the game as the Mountain West Conference’s leading scorer, as he was held to just 11 points, the first game in conference play in which he failed to score over 20 points. Flynn Clayman, who made his first start of the season, was the only other Ram to notch double figures, with 10 points, though all came in the second half.
Sports writer Matthew Pucak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.