Have Lobos Peaked Already?
By Mark Smith / Journal Reporter
Thursday, 25 February 2010 01:21
Coach Alford Not Concerned With the Recent Close Calls
They are definitely streaking.
But are the New Mexico Lobos still peaking?
What UNM is accomplishing is astounding. Wednesday's 72-66 win here against Colorado State set a trio of school records and tied a league standard.
It was the program's ninth road win and 10th win away from home this season, both school records. UNM also set a school mark with its sixth straight road win.
It was New Mexico's 12th straight win overall, which equals the third longest streak in school history -- one already matched earlier this season.
But the most impressive thing is that the recent 12-game run is all in league play. That ties the MWC mark for longest streak.
Still, in three of the past four games, the Lobos (26-3, 12-2) have barely beaten CSU (6-7 in MWC play), Utah (5-7 going into Wednesday night) and Air Force (1-11 going into Wednesday night).
Is Alford concerned about the close calls?
"No, not at all," Alford says with a chuckle. "I'll take the wins. We just (tied) a league record. If we've got to kick 'em in to score points, we'll do that. I think our energy's been great. It's been a tough stretch, because we didn't get Sunday off after Air Force (on Saturday), and we had to travel.
"Now we take Wednesday off, and we're down to two games. BYU's still got four games left (before Wednesday night.) Now we've got to get some rest and maximize the situation. But I'm not going to complain at all about what this team's doing. They just continue to amaze me."
One of BYU's final four games was Wednesday night at home against San Diego State. The Cougars won, 82-68. The next one is possibly the biggest game in MWC history. On Saturday, the 13th-ranked Cougars play host to the Lobos.
While UNM has blown out only one team during its past four games, as long as it has the Refuse-To-Lose trio it doesn't seem to matter how poorly the team plays on a given night. These three -- senior Roman Martinez and juniors Darington Hobson and Dairese Gary -- simply find ways to make it happen. Witness Tuesday in Fort Collins:
n CSU scores five straight points to trim UNM's lead to 44-43 with 12 minutes left. Martinez misses a 3, but battles for a rebound, then misses a tip. He keeps fighting and grabs another rebound, takes it outside and drills a 3. He finishes with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
n The Rams get a slam dunk from Andy Ogide to cap an 11-3 run and lead 49-47 in front of a suddenly energized Moby Arena crowd of 4,303.
Just 16 seconds later, Hobson buries a 3-pointer and Martinez follows with a another. Hobson has 15 points, 10 boards and three assists for his 10th double-double of the season.
n The Lobos lead 60-58 with three minutes left. It's Gary time. The 6-1 guard drives the lane four times, making a layup and going 6-for-6 from the line after drawing three fouls on his way to a team-high 23 points.
"I think your vets have to do it," Alford said. "… What Dairese, Ro and Darington were able to do in the second half -- the big three really came to the forefront."
DENNIS UPDATE: Freshman Curtis Dennis didn't come out of the locker room for the second half Tuesday night. Alford says the 6-foot-5 guard continues to battle an ankle injury and also has a bug that's worked its way around the team.
UNM at BYU, 2 p.m.
TV: Versus (Comcast and Dish -- no DirecTV) Radio: KKOB-AM (770)/Lobo Network
Thanks!! I hope CD is health for Saturdays game.
Well looky there. Everyone finally (after almost a day) gets there answer on Curtis. I know emotions are high because of the magical year we're having, but geez...I hope everyone chills out a little bit when it comes to things like this.
Hey Curtis...hope your ankle heals up 100% and you can start keeping your lunch down again!
I hope CD starts to feel better and no one else gets the bug for Saturday. (Last night Leonard for SDSU was gasping badly because of his bug.)Originally Posted by ,,,
DENNIS UPDATE: Freshman Curtis Dennis didn't come out of the locker room for the second half Tuesday night. Alford says the 6-foot-5 guard continues to battle an ankle injury and [B
Peaked? No. More like the lull before the STORM!
One At A Time . . .
Hmmmm there's a bug that has worked it's way around the team?
Plus the mental exhaustion of this intensely successful year, a group of young guys playing the insanely demanding Division I schedule, the long travel of the MWC, and getting everyone's best shot because of being ranked in the top 15...
Even Van Tate commented how tired the guys looked returning from CSU at the Sunport.
Yet they continue to find ways to win time and time again, most impressively on the road.
This team could win themselves ugly right into the Sweet 16.
Everyone keep in mind most of the players are probably either finishing up or are in the middle mid-terms. Lot of work for a 18-22 year old.
That bug has been going around for the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, it's made its way around and is long gone so that the team has its energy back up. It takes a toll on you having to go to class, travel, practice, play games 2x a week and try to fight off a bug? We've probably actually been pretty lucky to come out of these last few games with wins.
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