Hutson’s Bulldogs Edge Last Unbeaten Team in No. 21 Lobos
Isaih Moore scored 16 points and Fresno State beat the last unbeaten team in the nation, topping No. 21 New Mexico 71-67 on Tuesday night at the Save Mart Center.
“This group has been working really hard, and they stick with it, and that’s what it’s about, right?” — Fresno State basketball coach Justin Hutson
Isaiah Hill added 14 points, making three free throws in the final seconds to wrap up the victory for the Bulldogs (6-8, 2-1 Mountain West).
“It’s definitely a physical fight tonight,” Hill said. “It came down to some free throws, and we had to make them.”
Jemarl Baker added 13 points and five assists, and 6-foot-11 Eduardo Andre, averaging just over four points a game, scored a career-high 12 and had eight rebounds.
“This group has been working really hard, and they stick with it, and that’s what it’s about, right?” Fresno State coach Justin Hutson said. “ To continue to stick with it, stick through the good times and bad times. We’ve had some defeats that we didn’t like.”
Fresno State snapped a 28-game losing streak to teams in The Associated Press Top 25, the last victory coming over No. 14 Oklahoma State on Feb. 10, 2002.
Andre’s Late Block Lifts Bulldogs
After sitting out for over nine minutes of the second half with four fouls, Andre returned with 20 seconds left and the Bulldogs leading 70-67. He blocked a layup by Jamal Mashburn Jr. and grabbed the rebound, leading to Hill’s final free throws.
The Lobos came in as the last remaining unbeaten Division I team after No. 1 Purdue’s loss to Rutgers on Monday. The 14-0 start was their best since a school-record 17-0 in 1967-68.
“I told the team we have to keep it in perspective,” Lobos coach Richard Pitino said. “We are 14-1. It’s been an unbelievable run to go two months without a loss. It is tough to win on the road, especially in conference. We will try not to get too emotional about this, but just get back home and learn from it.”
Mashburn finished with 22 points for New Mexico (14-1, 2-1). Morris Udeze added 18 and Jaelen House had 15.
“It kind of went the other way than some of those close games that we won at the end,” Pitino said. “They made one or two plays more than us, one or two more free throws than us. The game went the way I thought it would go. They slowed down the pace.”
There were 19 lead changes and 13 ties in a game in which neither team led by more than eight. Moore made the go-ahead basket with 1:30 to go after Josiah Allick had given the Lobos their final lead on two free throws. The Lobos didn’t have a field goal over the final 4:30.
Fresno State led 36-32 at halftime but the Lobos quickly overtook the Bulldogs in the opening minutes of the second half. The Bulldogs regained the lead with eight minutes left and the game went back-and-forth from there.
The Bulldogs have won the last seven meetings with the Lobos and the eight straight on their home court.
House Full of Scorers
House became the fourth member of his extended family to score 1,000 career points. His father, Eddie, had 2,044 career points from 1997-00 at Arizona State; grandfather Henry Bibby scored 1,293 points from 1970-72 at UCLA, and uncle Mike Bibby scored 1,061 points at Arizona (1997-98).
New Mexico: Hosts UNLV on Saturday night.
Fresno State: At Colorado State on Saturday.