ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The North Texas men's basketball team beat New Mexico on Tuesday 74-65 for the program's first ever win over the Lobos, improving its record to 11-1 for the first time since 1976-77.
In front of over 9,000 UNM fans at Dreamstyle Arena Pit, the Mean Green jumped out to a 12-4 lead and held the Lobos without a field goal for the first seven minutes and eight seconds and handled New Mexico's constant defensive full court pressure to pick up their third non-conference road win this year.
"I knew if we could handle the early momentum shifts of the game we'd be in a good position," said head coach Grant McCasland
. "Our guys compete. A tremendous team effort and win."
North Texas had four players in double figures, with Jorden Duffy
and Roosevelt Smart
leading the way with 14 points. Redshirt sophomore Jahmiah Simmons
added nine points off the bench, including seven points early in the game and knocking down his first 3-pointer of the year at a clutch moment.
New Mexico stayed within reach by knocking down free throws. The Lobos' Anthony Mathis was a perfect 11-for-11 on the night.
They'd go on runs but at every could-be turning point, the Mean Green hit big shots and went on their own big runs. Umoja Gibson
sunk a deep three-pointer to end an 9-0 run and it sparked a 10-0 run for UNT.
Then at the end of the game when UNM got physical, Michael Miller
made three straight baskets to secure the win.
Junior guard Ryan Woolridge
set the tempo and combated the Lobos' press as he played 38 minutes and finished with 11 points, seven assists, six steals and five rebounds. His fourth assist on Tuesday moved him into second on the program's all-time assister leaderboard with 350. He needs just under 200 more assists to pass Pat Hicks for the program record of 526.
In total, North Texas led for 38 minutes and never trailed.
UNT has a quick turnaround as they host Arkansas Pine Bluff on Thursday at the Super Pit for the final non-conference game of the year. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.