ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)-Maybe it was a sign of things to come. The UNM men’s basketball team took a hit before the game tipped off against Air Force with the news that star guard Jaelen House was not being available. House was injured in practice and his absence showed as the Lobos fell to Air Force 89-77 Friday night. The win ended a six game losing streak for the Falcons and improved their Mountain West record to 4-9. Jake Heidbreder had the hot hand for the Falcons, scoring 26 points. Carter Murphy scored 18 points for the Falcons.
“Defensively we just could not get any energy to get some stops and you let a guy like Heidbreder score 26 points,” said UNM head coach Richard Pitino. “So, yeah, like I said before, not having House, KJ being sick, for sure a factor, but we have to be better than that.”
The Falcons shot 66 percent for the game. They also finished with more points in the paint, outscoring the Lobos 50-28. The Falcons also moved the ball around better with 21 assists compared to 9 for the Lobos. The Falcons also won the battle on the glass with 29 rebounds. The Lobos had 24.
The Lobos were led in scoring by Jamal Mashburn Jr., who scored a game high 32 points. Javonte Johnson had 16 points in his hometown of Colorado Springs. Donovan Dent scored 10 points for the Lobos in his first career start.
With the loss the Lobos dropped to 19-6 overall. They have fallen short in three attempts to reach 20 wins. The Lobos are 6-6 in Mountain West Conference play. The Lobos will host Wyoming Tuesday.