ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The joy of feeling a victory only lasted one game for Paul Weir and his University of New Mexico Lobos. The Lobos returned to Mountain West Conference play and suffered a 77-54 defeat at the hands of UNLV.
“We got to be the more aggressive team,” said Lobos guard Saquan Singleton. Coach Weir agrees with Singleton. “Finding aggressiveness in the midst of maybe not [a] success on the court is our issue,” said Weir.
The Lobos were hoping a non-conference victory over Dixie State earlier in the week would be enough to spark a win against the Rebels. Missed shots plagued the Lobos as they struggle from the floor again. The Lobos were 17 of 51 from the field at just over 33%. The numbers were worse from the 3 point line as the Lobos shot just under 17%, hitting on 3 of 18 attempts.
The Lobos trailed 37-26 after one half of play and were never able to challenge the Rebels in the second half. Makuach Maluach led the Lobos in scoring with 13 points. Valdir Manuel was the only other Lobo in double figures with 10 points. The Rebels had four players in double figures, led by Cheikh Mbacke Diong’s 20 points. Bryce Hamilton put in 19 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals for the Rebels.
The Lobos remain winless in league play at 0-7. They are 4-7 overall. The victory for the Rebels was their first in league play as they improved to 1-6 and 3-6 overall. The Lobos and Rebels will play game two of their series Monday at 7:30 PM Mountain.