Both teams entered the night on a three-game streak, Colorado State on the positive end and New Mexico on the other side. From an early point in Saturday’s game, though, the Lobos looked like the hot team, and they rode the initial momentum to a 77-65 win over the Rams.
Though the Rams’ depth has always presented questions this season, it never seriously affected the outcome of a game. The lack of contributing bodies finally caught up to CSU in Albuquerque as Anthony Masinton-Bonner and Hyron Edwards were sidelined with injuries.
Despite keeping it close at points, the Rams’ energy sputtered early in the second frame, dropping them to seventh in the MW with two games to play.
The lack of depth became evident for the Rams early. With both guards out, Robbie Berwick heard his name called early when Kendle Moore picked up his second foul.
Playing only six players for the majority of the half, the Rams were hurt by the Lobos on the glass. Both teams started efficient from the floor, but New Mexico benefited from its length advantage. They outrebounded the Rams by nine in the opening frame, including an impactful 8-1 advantage on the offensive end.
It led to second-chance points, but equally as detrimental for the visitors, it created even more foul trouble. The Rams were often caught out of position on the defensive glass, allowing the Lobos to get the board and draw the foul.
Makuach Maluach was especially burdensome in the half as he out-muscled Adam Thistlewood to a couple second-chance opportunities and 13 first-half points, helping the Lobos to a 35-27 advantage.
The same problems popped up for the visitors to open the final frame, and they only intensified throughout the half. Though Carvacho forced his will in the paint, the Rams rarely had an answer when he couldn’t find space. New Mexico threw different defensive alignments at Medved’s squad, and it prevented them from finding much rhythm.
Maluach continued to give CSU troubles on offense, eventually finishing with 23 points and 10 rebounds. The undermanned Rams continued to falter as Maluach and the rest of the Lobos clearly had more gas down the stretch.
Carvacho made a consistent difference, scoring 22 points to go along with 13 boards. Thistleoowd and JD Paige both scored 14 as well. Aside from Logan Ryan’s one minute of action, Medved ran a six-man rotation.
The Lobos dominated the rebounding battle, ending with a 47-25 lead. Their 17-4 difference on the offensive end exhausted an already outnumbered CSU team and led to 14 second-chance points.
With two home games remaining against Utah State on Wednesday and UNLV on Saturday, there is still plenty of time for fluctuation in the standings.