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January 16, 2011The San Diego State Aztecs showed Saturday evening in the Pit why they are ranked No. 6 in the nation.
The New Mexico Lobos played well, and still lost to SDSU 87-77. The win gives the Aztecs a 19-0 record and makes them 4-0 in the Mountain West Conference. UNM drops to 13-5, 1-2.
``Today was not luck. We were very, very good at both ends of the floor,'' said San Diego State coach Steve Fisher. ``New Mexico did not give us this game, we earned it.''
And he was right. The Lobos were simply overmatched. UNM's goal was to shut down SDSU's big men, and it did. So the Aztecs shot 13-for-25 from 3-point range and beat New Mexico with its guards.
``That's a really good basketball team, and they made shots,'' UNM coach Steve Alford noted. ``Their big men never got into the flow but those three guards killed us. We picked our poison and decided to stop them inside.''
``Trying to adjust to a team that is on fire is difficult,'' said UNM's Drew Gordon.
The Lobos led early in the game but guard D.J. Gay hit two quick 3s to end the first half and another to start the second half, giving SDSU a 11-point lead. UNM was down by 18 in the second half but rallied to make the outcome respectable and even had a few chances to make it interesting.
``We did not make a lot of shots when it truly mattered,'' Alford pointed out.
Gay had 30 points for SDSU. He missed his first two 3-point shots and then made 7 of his next 9.
``They definitely dared us to hit 3s,'' said Gay. ``It is our job to knock down open shots.''
The Aztecs missed their first five 3-point shots and went 13-for-20 after that. Meanwhile, UNM was an acceptable 7-for-16 from 3-point range.
Gordon was the best player on the floor for New Mexico. The 6-foot-9 junior started for the second time and finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds. He hit 10 of 17 shots and kept UNM in the game at times. Senior Dairese Gary finished with 23 points and played 39 minutes, including the whole second half.
``They are 19-0 for a good reason,'' Alford said of the Aztecs. ``They are really, really good.''
Life doesn't get any easier for the Lobos. Now they go on the road for games at Utah and UNLV.
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