ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KVIA) -- On Saturday, the Lobos and Aggies clashed for the first time in nearly two years. The home team fed off the energy from its sellout crowd all night, soundly defeating the visiting Aggies 106-62. NM State was led by Femi Odukale, who drew 12 fouls to finish with 18 points and seven rebounds. The Lobos rode a hot first half from veteran guard Jaelen House to improve to 7-1 on the season. With the loss, the Aggies are now 4-6. The two teams will meet again in just 13 days at the Pan American Center on Dec. 15.
Jaylin Jackson-Posey knocked down the first bucket of the game from beyond the arc. However, there wasn’t much action on the offensive end immediately after. In the first nine minutes of the game, NM State only put up six shots. Luckily for the Aggies, five of the six fell, keeping them in the mix early. A media timeout came with UNM ahead 19-13 at the 10:17 mark, effectively marking the end of the first quarter of action. At that point, Christian Cook and Jackson-Posey were both two-for-two on field goals and accounted for 10 of the Aggies’ 13 points.
After being forced to play with four men against Louisville less than a week ago, fouls plagued the Aggies once again. As a team, they committed 18 fouls in the first 20 minutes, and their 10th foul put the Lobos in the double bonus for the final 9:20 of the half. A 9-0 Lobo run swelled the lead to 40-24, forcing a timeout from Head Coach Jason Hooten with 4:24 left. The run would continue to 14-0, giving UNM a 45-24 lead before Kaosi Ezeagu hit a pair of free throws to stop the bleeding. The Aggies went nearly a fifth of the game without a field goal, being held to only nine free throws between the 9:29 and 1:33 marks.
55 first-half Lobo points were the most by NM State or any opponent this season. The last time the Aggies allowed at least 55 points in a half was against Southern Utah on Jan. 19, 2023. The Thunderbirds dropped 58 in the first half of a 111-76 victory. UNM was led by Jaelen House, who dropped in an efficient 26 points. The graduate guard was 8-9 from the field, 5-5 from deep, and 5-5 at the free throw line in the first 20 minutes.
Things wouldn’t get much better for the defense after the break. UNM came out of the locker room and scored 14 points before the next media timeout, pulling ahead 69-38. Jaylin Jackson-Posey picked up his fifth foul with 10:29 remaining, sending him to the bench for the remainder of the game. The Aggies were outscored 51-30 in the second half, and shot just 33.3% from the field. Keylon Dorsey hit the team’s lone three pointer out of 10 attempts. UNM put together another 9-0 run that concluded with 3:37 left on the clock. The burst pushed the Lobos over 100, heading into the final media timeout with a 101-58 advantage.
The two sides were comparable in most second half statistical categories. The Aggies outrebounded the Lobos 18-16, each side had four steals and the teams were only separated by one foul. The difference in the half was shotmaking, and the quality of offensive opportunities. The home team hoisted 14 three-point attempts in the final 20 minutes, and knocked down seven of them. The Lobos canned 18 of their 28 total field goals and made eight free throws. NM State couldn’t force their opponents away from their spots, and UNM took advantage, hanging another 50-plus point half.
Numbers of Note
- The last time the Aggies allowed 106 or more points was Jan. 19, 2023, when Southern Utah scored 111.
- UNM’s 44-point margin of victory is its largest in at least the last 40 years of the rivalry series.
- NM State coughed it up 17 times to UNM’s seven. Saturday marked the second-most turnovers in a game this season, and the most since the regular-season opener at Kentucky.
- UNM’s bench outscored NM State’s reserves 51-15. Tru Washington (21) single-handedly scored more than the Aggies’ bench unit.
- No Aggies were positive in their minutes. All Aggies that played at least five minutes were -10 or worse.
The Aggies will have more than a week off before returning home to the Pan American Center. The Aggies will welcome two consecutive in-state rivals, starting with Northern NM before a rematch with New Mexico. The matchup with the Eagles is set to tip off at 7:30 PM MT on Tuesday, Dec. 12. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ and available to follow via StatBroadcast.