ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a season that started on a high and ended with a thud. The University of New Mexico Lobos lost their first round game in the NIT Wednesday night to Utah Valley 83-69.

“Obviously a bad ending to a really good season,” said UNM head coach Richard Pitino. “We have to understand what are weaknesses are. I would say it’s certainly defense.” Justin Harmon scored a game high 32 points to lead the Wolverines to the road victory over the Lobos. “It’s not like we are trying to give up that many points. That’s a good team over there,” said UNM forward Morris Udeze. “They scored the ball really well and they surprised us. It was hard for us to try to get back which is the story for the season.”

Udeze led the Lobos in scoring, recording his 15th double double with 18 points and 19 rebounds. Jaelen House was the only other Lobo in double figures with 14 points and 4 steals. House broke the Lobos single season steals record of 84, formally held by Hunter Greene. Udeze is the only Lobo senior who has exhausted all of his eligibility. His leadership was key as Richard Pitino got his team off to a 14-0 start in only his second year with the program. The Lobos were the last undefeated team in the nation, ahead of where Pitino thought his team would be in year two. You could say cracks started to form as the Lobos took on a tough Mountain West Conference schedule. They suffered their first loss in their third league game on the road at Fresno State back in January. It was followed by a conference loss at home to UNLV.

The Lobos righted the ship after that, winning at home against a tough Oral Roberts team. That started a four game winning streak that included a road victory over San Diego State and home win against Boise State. February came and with it a 2-7 finish which brought the Lobos down to earth, making the Mountain West Tournament their only shot to get an NCAA Tournament Berth. The Lobos fell short in the Mountain West quarterfinals to Utah State. They looked at the NIT as another opportunity to start a potential run, but it was not to be. The Lobos finished the season 22-12.