Jackson, Manigault lead New Mexico to 90-83 win over Iona
Manigault’s steal and highlight reel dunk in the midst of an 11-2 New Mexico second-half run helped turn a 72-67 deficit into a 75-72 lead and control of the game with 6:05 left.
“We won because of those two guys,” Lobos coach Paul Weir said while pointing at Jackson and Manigault. “Whenever Corey and whenever Vance can play the way they do, it’s going to help us tremendously. .Vance is such a talented player. His ceiling here is through the roof. And Corey is the exact same way. I want to kill him sometimes and I think he wants to kill me too. But at the end of the day, the kid is playing his tail off.”
The Gaels remained close, but could never regain the lead.
With New Mexico leading 83-80, Dane Kuiper shook off his 0-for-4 night to hit a 3-pointer from the corner with one second left on the shot clock to put the Lobos up 86-80.
“I’m really happy for Dane,” Weir said. “He was a kid last year, he went up and down with his three. Every time he shoots he’s probably thinking way too much than he should so when they go in, you feel for him.”
The critical run, along with Kuiper’s three and a subsequent one from Mathis was the difference in the game, said Iona coach Tim Cluess.
“We left a couple of their shooters open and they got two good open looks on us and they made them,” he said. “We got good looks that didn’t go down. I think that’s the difference in the game; the two that they made and the two that we missed.”
New Mexico next faces downstate rival New Mexico State on Nov. 17. Lobos coach Paul Weir coached the Aggies in the 2016-17 season before moving north to take over the New Mexico program the next year.
Iona is next at Long Beach State on Nov. 19. Among the Gael’s upcoming opponents is a game at Providence Nov. 24, as well as a trio of Ivy League schools: Columbia, Princeton and Yale.
New Mexico has been tested in both of its game this season, but New Mexico State will offer a truer test of where the Lobos stand in the early season.
It would not be wrong to call the Gaels the Road Warriors as this game marked the beginning of a nine-game stint away from home. Iona will not return to its home court again until Dec. 30.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Cluess said. “And I’m looking forward to our guys coming together as a group and playing the good competition we’re going to be playing and learning a lot more about our team. I thought (Tuesday) this was a good start to find out who can play and who can’t play in these environments and just to see where we need to get better.”