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December 16, 2009

Men’s Basketball Runs into Hot Shooting New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – The 19th-ranked New Mexico Lobos celebrated their new national ranking with a 96-57 victory over Northern Arizona at The Pit Wednesday night. The Lobos scored the first 14 points in the game and shot 71 percent in the second half to remain undefeated on the season at 11-0.

NAU (3-6) fell behind by 17 points in the six minutes of the game behind a 14-0 start to the game by the Lobos. The Lumberjacks responded with an 11-0 run to cut the lead to six points, battling the rest of the half. NAU would trail by only five points at one point before falling behind by 10 at the half.

“I was pleased with the first half after spotting them 14 points to start the game,” said Head Coach Mike Adras. “But they kept coming with guys off the bench. It was a good experience playing in this environment.”

The Lobos came out in the second half with a 20-10 run to the start half, extending their lead to 20 points. It didn’t get much better as the Lobos continued to hit from beyond the three-point arc. After making eight three-pointers in 19 attempts in the first half, they made 8-of-13 in the second half as the NAU deficit grew.

“They shot the ball,” said Adras. “They only missed nine shots in the second half. We were a little gassed in the second half. We are not playing a lot of guys and that hurt us in the second half.”

Junior Shane Johannsen led the Lumberjacks with 14 points on a 7-of-9 night from the field in 24 minutes.

“We able to get him the ball and he delivered really nice for us,” said Adras. “He was able to convert. With the play of Josh Lepley, our post guys did a real good job for us tonight.”

Lepley added six points off bench for NAU. Junior Cameron Jones had 12 points and six assists. Junior DeAngelo Jones contributed eight points and six rebounds.

Senior Nick Larson had an off night going 2-for-10 for five points.

New Mexico shot 55 percent for the game helped by a 22-for-31 effort in the second half. The Lobos made 16 three-pointers in the contest. Roman Martinez had a game-high 17 points as one of six players in double figures.

NAU is now 0-22 all-time against ranked teams.

NAU continues its swing in the Mountain West Conference with a game at Air Force on Saturday followed by a contest the next night at Colorado State before breaking for the holidays.