The end of the road came for Paul Weir and his Lobo men’s basketball team Thursday night in a 91-83 loss to Utah State.”I truly thought that we had what it took to pull that game out,” said UNM senior guard Anthony Mathis. “Unfortunately, the cards didn’t fall in our favor and it hurts for that to be out of it.” The Lobos, a 7-seed, were up for the challenge against the 2-seed Utah State. The game was a back and forth affair filled with 19 lead changes and 16 ties.
Lobos sophomore forward Vance Jackson continued his hot shooting and finished the game with 25 points. The Lobos shot 39 percent to that of 53 percent for Utah State. The Lobos were also outrebounded by Utah State 46-28. The difference was the turnovers. The Lobos sped Utah State up and forced them into 15 first-half turnovers and 24 for the game.
The Lobos had 10 turnovers in a game that was locked at 39 points each at halftime. Both teams traded baskets in the second half. The Lobos created a little separation in the half, but saw that momentum slowed after a technical foul was called on Head Coach Paul Weir.
Weir was upset after center Carlton Bragg was called for his fifth foul of the game. “I wasn’t trying to get one,” said Weir. “I was just voicing my displeasure on a play. I think coaches get that way a lot.” After that, it was all Utah State as the Aggies found their rhythm on the court. Sam Merrill led the Aggies in scoring with 23 points. Utah State advanced to the tournament semifinals with the win. The loss ended the season for Lobos at 14 wins and 18 losses.