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Jan 25, 2023 8:07 pm

After double OT loss, No. 25 New Mexico meets Air Force

No. 25 New Mexico will try to bounce back after losing in double overtime at Nevada on Monday when the Lobos play Air Force on Friday night at Albuquerque.

The Lobos (18-3, 5-3 Mountain West) lost at Nevada after a flagrant foul on Morris Udeze was called with 14 seconds remaining in double overtime.

Udeze grabbed a rebound, and while trying to secure the ball, his left forearm struck Daniel Foster’s face. The refs determined it was a flagrant foul and Foster broke the 94-94 tie by making one of the two free throws.

Will Baker then made the two free throws as a result of the foul and Nevada went on to win 97-94.

“We put ourselves in a lot of positions to win the game, we just didn’t,” New Mexico coach Richard Pitino said. “We can’t get too emotional about it, and we need to give them a lot of credit for how they played. We have a lot of great opportunities ahead of us in this conference, starting Friday with Air Force.”

Air Force (12-9, 3-5) is coming off an 82-52 loss at San Jose State on Tuesday.

The Falcons have lost consecutive games after winning three straight.

Interior defense is a concern for Air Force, which allowed San Jose State to score 30 points in the paint and shoot 19-for-28 overall from the field in the first half.

Air Force coach Joe Scott cited the lack of time for preparation after hosting San Diego State on Saturday night and then traveling the next day to San Jose on Monday.

“You have to value the one day (of practice) we have,” Scott said. “We had one day to get ready for today, and did we really value it? It shows up in how you play.”

Air Force mustered 21 points in the second half while shooting 39 percent from the field.

Camden Vander Zwaag led the Falcons with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting off the bench.

Despite allowing a season-high total of 82 points, the Falcons tallied seven blocked shots, the most in a Mountain West game this season.

Jamal Mashburn, Jr. scored a career-high 33 points to lead the Lobos in their loss at Nevada.

Jaelen House and Udeze both had double-doubles. House had 17 points and a season-high 10 assists for his second career double-double. Udeze had 16 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.

Mashburn scored in double figures for the 42nd consecutive game, the longest current streak in the Mountain West and second-longest active streak in the nation, trailing only the 130 straight games by Antoine Davis of Detroit.

Air Force has lost four consecutive games at New Mexico dating to the 2014-15 season.

The Lobos are 13-1 at home this season and the Falcons are 3-4 on the road.

New Mexico’s lone loss at The Pit this season was an 84-77 setback against UNLV on Jan. 7. The Lobos have won three consecutive games at home since then, including an 81-79 win in overtime over Boise State last Friday.

–Field Level Media

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