Rams and Lobos mix it up in Mountain West melee

Jan 3, 2015 - 3:33 PM Albuquerque, NM (SportsNetwork.com) - The 24th-ranked Colorado State Rams try to keep their unbeaten record intact on Saturday, as they visit the New Mexico Lobos for a Mountain West Conference clash at WisePies Arena.

The Rams had a serious scare just before the end of 2014 as they tangled with Boise State at home, but a double-digit deficit in the first half eventually became a 71-65 win for the hosts at Moby Arena. The victory continued the best start in program history (14-0), and kept the nation's longest win streak rolling along.

As for the Lobos, they too were in action on New Year's Eve, hosting Fresno State in the conference opener, and came out on top, 76-64. The victory was the sixth in the last seven outings for a team that eight days prior lost a shocker to Grand Canyon, 68-65, in Arizona.

New Mexico leads the all-time series, one that began in 1940, by a count of 73-43. Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy has come up empty in all five of his attempts to defeat the Lobos during his 24-year career as a Division I head coach.

The Rams made a total of just nine field goals in the first half against Boise State, including 1-of-8 behind the 3-point line, allowing the Broncos to take a 14-point lead less than seven minutes into the meeting. However, CSU recovered in the second half with 56 percent accuracy from the field, 5-of-8 beyond the arc, en route to the six-point win.

John Gillon provided a huge boost off the bench as he dropped in a game-high 25 points, shooting a perfect 4-of-4 out on the perimeter and 9-of-11 at the free-throw line in 27 minutes. J.J. Avila and Daniel Bejarano accounted for 13 and 11 points, respectively, the latter also pulling down a team-best eight rebounds.

Shooting almost as well from the field (.549) as he is at the charity stripe (.557), Avila leads the team in scoring with 14.4 ppg and is also first with both 7.4 rpg and 28 steals, not to mention second in assists with 46. Stanton Kidd checks in with 12.2 ppg and Bejarano 11.1 ppg, the latter trying to offset his 37.8 percent shooting with 6.6 rpg and 49 dishes.

Hugh Greenwood scored 16 points as New Mexico defeated the Bulldogs by double figures in the Mountain West Conference opener. Greenwood converted 3-of-5 shots behind the 3-point line for the Lobos, cleared five rebounds and handed out five assists. Also scoring in double figures for UNM were DeShawn Delaney and Devon Williams with 12 and 10 points, respectively. New Mexico finished the evening connecting on 59.0 percent from the floor overall and a stellar 8- of-10 out on the perimeter.

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