No. 25 New Mexico will try to recover after losing in double overtime in Nevada on Monday when the Lobos play the Air Force in Albuquerque on Friday night.
The Lobos (18-3, 5-3 Mountain West) lost in Nevada after a flagrant foul was called on Morris Udeze with 14 seconds remaining in double overtime.
Udeze grabbed a rebound and as he tried to save the ball his left forearm caught Daniel Foster’s face. The umpires ruled it was a flagrant foul, and Foster broke the 94–94 tie by taking one of the two free throws.
Will Baker then made the two free throws as a result of the foul and Nevada won 97-94.
“We put ourselves in many positions to win the game, but we just couldn’t do it,” said New Mexico coach Richard Pitino. “We must not get too emotional and we must give them a lot of credit for how they played. We have many great opportunities ahead of us at this conference that begins Friday with Air Force.”
Air Force (12-9, 3-5) suffered an 82-52 loss in San Jose State on Tuesday.
The Falcons have lost consecutive games after winning three straight games.
Central defense is a concern of the Air Force, which allowed San Jose State to score 30 points in the color in the first half and shoot 19-28 from the field overall.
Air Force Coach Joe Scott cited the lack of time to prepare after receiving San Diego State Saturday night and traveling to San Jose the next day Monday.
“You have to appreciate the one day (of practice) that we have,” Scott said. “We had a day to prepare for today and did we really appreciate that? It shows in how you play.”
The Air Force accumulated 21 points in the second half and shot 39 percent from the field.
Camden Vander Zwaag led the Falcons with 11 points in 4-of-7 shots off the bench.
Despite conceding a season-high 82 points overall, the Falcons had seven blocked shots, the most in a Mountain West game this season.
Jamal Mashburn Jr. posted a career-high 33 points and led the Lobos in their Nevada loss.
Jaelen House and Udeze both had double-doubles. House had 17 points and a season-high 10 assists for his second double-double of his career. Udeze had 16 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.
Mashburn scored in double digits for the 42nd straight game, the longest current streak in the Mountain West and the second-longest active streak in the nation, behind only Detroit’s Antoine Davis’ 130 straight games.
The Air Force lost four straight games in New Mexico during the 2014-15 season.
The Lobos are 13-1 at home and the Falcons 3-4 away this season.
New Mexico’s only loss in The Pit this season was an 84-77 setback against UNLV on Jan. 7. The Lobos have since won three straight home games, including an 81-79 overtime win over Boise State last Friday.
–Field level media
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