Bench has big night for UNM

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Lobos found their groove on Thursday night against the University of Denver. It was not much of a contest, as UNM led for the entire game and won by a final score of 87-67. With such a comfortable lead, coach Pitino was able to sub in some players who typically don’t play a lot of minutes, and many of them proved that they are worthy of getting more.

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45 of New Mexico’s 87 total points came from the bench (52%), but a majority of those came from redshirt junior guard KJ Jenkins. The Atlanta, Georgia native had a career-high 21 points, including 5-11 shooting from three-point range, all coming in the second half. The Lobos went a combined 0-8 from beyond the arc in the first half, but that didn’t scare Jenkins from getting his shots up. “Coach trusts us, really everyone to shoot,” said Jenkins. “We all had good looks and some didn’t drop, but a lot of these guys have the confidence to just keep shooting and go out there and win.” Jenkins led the team in minutes with 25:18 and tied a team-high for assists with two.

Another player with a big performance off the bench for the Lobos was junior forward Jay Allen-Tovar. He finished the night one point shy of a double-double with nine to go along with ten boards. Allen-Tovar was perfect from the free-throw line shooting 5-5 from the charity stripe. He also tied for the highest +/- on the team with 21.

Other players contributing from the bench include Sebastian Forsling, and Saquan Singleton with seven and six points respectively. Jeremiah Francis and Birima Seck checked into the game as well. Coach Pitino says he liked what he saw from those guys on Thursday and hopes to give them more minutes moving forward. The Lobos return to the Pit on Sunday to take on UTEP.

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