SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jaelen House had 29 points, including three clutch 3-pointers on the stretch, and Jamal Mashburn Jr. had 22 for New Mexico, who went on a 12-0 run to take control of the win over No. 23 San Diego took state 76-67 on Saturday night.
House, who played better the more he was booed by the crowd, had 10 points during the 12-0 run that gave the Lobos a 60-49 lead and 13 points in about a three-minute span. He scored 21 in the second half.
House was booed for a technical about five minutes from time for staring at the crowd.
“I don’t like them, they don’t like me,” House said. “I like big moments.”
New Mexico won its first 15 games before losing 71-67 at Fresno State on January 3.
“We haven’t been hungry in the last few games and I feel like we came out hungry tonight,” House said.
Morris Udeze had 10 points and 15 rebounds and Javonte Johnson had 10 points for the Lobos (16-2, 3-2 Mountain West). The Lobos fell out of The Associated Press’s top 25 after two losses last week, while the Aztecs bounced back in the poll.
The Lobos “were ready to go,” said coach Richard Pitino. “You were juiced for this game.”
Matt Bradley scored 14, Adam Seiko 13 and Keshad Johnson 10 for the Aztecs (13-4, 4-1) who had lost their six-game winning streak.
SDSU was leading 49-48 when the 6-foot-10 Nathan Mensah, reigning MWC Defensive Player of the Year, was called for his fourth foul and then hit with a technical foul because he reacted angrily and appeared to be moving towards a referee before a teammate stepped in. House made both free throws and then hit a 3-pointer for five-point possession and a 53-49 lead from Lobos.
Mashburn made a jumper and House made a 3-pointer and another jumper for a 60-49 lead with 6:01 left. SDSU’s Micah Parrish made one of two free throws to end New Mexico’s run before House made another 3-pointer for a 63-50 lead.
Mensah’s foul changed the tone of the second half.
“I would say that was a big role because he’s a big body down there and he affects shots,” House said. “They don’t really have a backup that does the same things as he does.”
The Aztecs scored five straight points after House was called to a technical, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
“We both had learning experiences in our dressing room. Celebrate after the game,” Pitino said. “House was great, but sometimes you just have to like stunning him a bit and slowing him down. But he was so good. Those referees, if you party like that, they’ll get you.”
The Aztecs drew within four points before Udeze scored. Mashburn hit a jumper and two free throws in the 1:20 final.
Mashburn and Udeze led the Lobos to a 38-28 halftime lead before the Aztecs solidified their defense and caught up seven minutes into the second half. Keshad Johnson scored six points for the Aztecs early in the second half, and Parrish’s putback took it to 45.
The Lobos led twice in the first half by 11 points.
New Mexico: The Lobos were the nation’s last undefeated team before losing in Fresno State on Jan. 3. Since then they are 1:2.
San Diego State: The Aztecs had perhaps their best first half to one of their worst with a 74-65 win over Nevada on Tuesday night. The Aztecs allowed the Lobos to shoot 48.5% while only making 37.5% of their shots in the first 20 minutes. The Aztecs only made one free throw out of seven.
New Mexico: hosts San Jose State on Tuesday night.
State of San Diego: On Wednesday evening in the state of Colorado.
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