ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Carlton Bragg Jr.’s double-double and six straight points late in the second half helped New Mexico hold off pesky Montana 72-63 on Sunday.
Bragg had 20 points and 14 rebounds, while JaQuan Lyle added 16 points for the Lobos (7-2).
Sayeed Pridgett totaled 25 points and 10 rebounds and Josh Vasquez scored 16 for the Grizzlies (3-5).
Bragg hit four straight foul shots in the midst of a 7-0 New Mexico run that put the Lobos up for good at 56-50 with six minutes remaining.
And minutes later as Montana tried to hang around, Bragg hit three consecutive buckets from the interior. The last of those left New Mexico up 64-58 with 3:24 left.
The Lobos earned far more trips to the foul line but missed 11 of their first 19 shots before going 14 of 16 down the stretch. The Grizzlies were 4 of 7 from the foul line.
Despite foul trouble, Montana was able to hang around by hanging onto the ball, with just six turnovers, resulting in three Lobos’ points.
Montana: The Grizzlies have battled through a rough schedule, playing road games against Stanford, Arkansas and Washington before visiting Albuquerque, and they still have an upcoming game at Oregon before starting Big Sky play at the end of the month.
New Mexico: Because of a scheduling conflict in Las Vegas in March, the Mountain West begins play early. But after two conference games this coming week, the Lobos return to nonconference play with four home games, including a rematch with down-state rival New Mexico State.
Montana: The Grizzlies are home to North Dakota on Friday.
New Mexico: The Lobos are home against Boise State on Wednesday in the opener. The Broncos have won two in a row, including a 72-68 overtime win over BYU.