New Mexico beats Utah State 78-63
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Anthony Mathis tied his career-high 25 points, including a career-best seven 3-pointers, helping New Mexico to a 78-63 win Wednesday over Utah State.
The Aggies (14-13, 7-7 Mountain West) got a career game out of Sam Merrill, who finished with 33 points and seven 3-pointers.
But the Lobos (13-14, 8-6) had a lot more help as Makuach Maluach had 16 points and Chris McNeal and Sam Logwood added 10 apiece.
Koby McEwen, who only played 24 minutes because of foul issues, was the only other Utah State player in double figures with 10.
Mathis scored New Mexico’s last 11 points of the first half, forming the bulk of a 14-7 run that gave the Lobos a 36-34 lead at halftime.
Utah State scored the first eight points of the second half, but the Aggies hit the skids midway, going 8:36 without a field goal in a 17-2 New Mexico run that put the Lobos up 63-52. Mathis had another three 3-pointers during the surge.
The win moves New Mexico into a four-way virtual tie for third pending late games Wednesday for Fresno State, UNLV and Wyoming.
Utah State drops a game back of the four-way knot to seventh.
The Lobos ended a 2-game skid, while Utah State had won four of five before the loss.
New Mexico forced 23 turnovers while only committing nine, turning that into a 23-8 points off-turnovers advantage, including 24-9 edge on fast-break points.
The Lobos are at Wyoming on Tuesday in what will be a game with conference-tournament-seeding ramifications.
Utah State is home Saturday against conference leader No. 23 Nevada.