New Mexico opened the season with an 87-84 victory against CSUN on the road. Courtesy of UNM Athletics
Isabel Gonzalez
@cisabelg

Senior Anthony Mathis came up big with a game-winning shot from beyond the arc to give the Lobos an 87-84 victory over CSUN during the last second of Tuesday night’s game. With this result, New Mexico opens the 2018-19 season with a victory on the road.

The beginning was sloppy for the Lobos, as they collected three turnovers in less than two minutes and didn’t score a field goal until Dane Kuiper’s layup when the clock read 14:52. The first half ended in a 42-42 tie as Makuach Maluach got fouled and he made one of his two free throw attempts.

The Lobos saw seven lead changes in a game in which they entered as the favorites. However, it is important to remember this was the first time the team had stepped on the court with an audience, as their only other previous opponent this fall was NAU during a closed scrimmage. As a whole, New Mexico shot at 51.9 percent form the field with Corey Manigault leading with 16 points. The team was at 75.9 percent from the free thrown line.

Lobos in double figures

Corey Manigault 16 points
Makuach Maluach 15 points
Dane Kuiper 15 points
Anthony Mathis 12 points

Click here for full box score.

Meanwhile CSUN’s offense was carried by two players. Lamine Diane with 34 points and Terrell Gomez with 21. The New Mexico defense couldn’t hold more than an 8-point lead throughout the entire night. Improving the defense is something UNM head coach Paul Weir has stressed as a priority for his team.

The last lead CSUN had on Tuesday came at 77-76 with 4:38 remaining. However, the last minute of the game was filled with uncertainty.

With 30 seconds remaining, the Lobos barely held a two-point lead. By the time only six seconds were left on the clock, the game was tied 84-84. Mathis broke UNM’s record for most three-pointers in a conference season (66) during the 2017-18 season, so it was only fitting that he finished his first game as a senior with the game-winning three-pointer.

New Mexico will play at Dreamstyle Arena, aka The Pit, for the first time this fall on Saturday Nov. 10 when the Lobos host Northern New Mexico for an exhibition. Their first official home game of the season is scheduled for Nov. 13 as the team hosts Iona College.

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