No. 19 New Mexico edges Creighton, stay unbeaten

Even in its worst-shooting game of the season, No. 19 New Mexico

managed to stay unbeaten.

Darington Hobson had 22 points and 16 rebounds, and helped

the Lobos rally in the second half to beat Creighton 66-61 on

Saturday night.

New Mexico (12-0) trailed by 16 points in the first half and

still were down 40-28 at the break. But the Lobos opened the second

half with a 17-4 run, taking their first lead at 45-44 on Hobson’s

putback with 11:47 left.

“You have to give Creighton a lot of credit for how they

guarded us,” Lobos coach Steve Alford said. “And we still find a

way to win.”

The teams traded the lead until Hobson’s layup broke a 57-57

tie. Dairese Gary helped seal the victory with two steals in the

final minute.

P’Allen Stinnett led the Bluejays (4-6) with 14 points.

Roman Martinez added 11 points and 10 rebounds for New

Mexico, which struggled from the field all night. The Lobos

finished 20 of 67 from the floor, including 3 of 15 on 3-pointers

in the first half.

Martinez had one of the game’s bigger plays with about a

minute left. After Hobson missed two foul shots, Martinez slipped

underneath, grabbed the rebound and quickly fed it back to Hobson

for a dunk to increase the lead to 61-57.

“We have a senior that just won’t let this team lose,” Alford

said of Martinez. “He dives on the floor to get a huge loose ball

that leads to a basket. Darington misses two free throws and he

gets the rebound off that and throws it to Darington.”

The play was indicative of how the Lobos came back. They had

a 22-7 advantage on the offensive glass, and the Bluejays committed

18 turnovers to five for New Mexico.

“We’re really disappointed,” Creighton coach Dana Altman

said. “We played a pretty good first half. We had them off-balance

with the zone. They’re a great shooting team and they missed some

shots. I thought we kind of had them off-balance. But the offensive

rebounds, obviously, that they got kept us on defense. And then

some poor turnovers.”