McNeal leads New Mexico to lopsided victory
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — With 24 points and 10 assists, New Mexico’s Chris McNeal led eight Lobos in double figures in a record-breaking 147-76 win over Northern New Mexico on Saturday night.
The Lobos (1-0) set school records for scoring - blowing by the old mark with 3:58 remaining the game on McNeal’s fast-break layup - and steals (22), while tying an assists record (40).
Troy Simons had 19 points and seven rebounds for New Mexico. Freshman Makuach Maluach hit all seven of his shots from the field to finish with 18 points and Vladimir Pinchuk made all six of his shots in finishing with 12 points.
Bryce Simmons had 20 for the Eagles (2-8), who have lost seven in a row, and Estevan Martinez added 14.
After falling behind 5-2, New Mexico went on a 20-2 run to take control.
Northern New Mexico had a 7-0 spurt to cut it to 22-14, but the Lobos responded with a 15-3 surge to go up 37-17.
The Lobos’ halftime total of 74 points was second-most in school history.
With nine newcomers on the squad, New Mexico needed a game against a lesser opponent just so the players could figure each other out a bit. In that respect, the Eagles of the NAIA provided the perfect foil.
The Lobos entered coach Paul Weir’s first season at the helm with a desire to run-and-gun the entire length of the court for 80 minutes and Northern New Mexico was perfectly content to play at that breakneck pace. It resulted in 33 turnovers by the Eagles.
New Mexico is at home Tuesday to play Nebraska-Omaha.
Northern New Mexico plays an exhibition game at Adams State on Tuesday.