(13) Utah 54

(23-4, 11-1 MW)

New Mexico 65

(20-6, 7-4 MW)

    9:00 PM ET, February 21, 2005

    The Pit, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    1 2 T
    #13UTAH 26 2854
    UNM 31 3465

    Top Performers

    Utah: A. Bogut 15 Pts, 13 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Blk

    New Mexico: M. Walters 22 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl

    Lobos snap Utes' 18-game winning streak

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- With the shot clock winding down and a defender in his face, New Mexico guard Mark Walters took a pass late in the second half and launched a 3-pointer that banked in.

    It was that kind of a night for Walters and the Lobos, who ended Utah's 18-game winning streak with a 65-54 win Monday night.

    Utah's Longest Winning Streaks
    Wins Snapped by Date
    23 Miami (Ohio) March 12, 1999
    18 New Mexico Feb. 21, 2005
    18 New Mexico Feb. 1, 1998
    17 New Mexico Feb. 2, 1991

    "I think he gave them the [Michael] Jordan pose after he hit the bank," said New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay. "He was phenomenal tonight."

    Walters hit 7 of 11 shots, had 9 rebounds and 3 steals as the Lobos (20-6, 7-4 Mountain West) used tenacious defense and strong rebounding to win for the sixth time in seven games.

    The Utes (23-4, 11-1), who clinched the conference regular-season title with a victory over Air Force on Saturday, shot just 37 percent.

    Utah (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 13 AP), which had the nation's second-longest winning streak behind top-ranked Illinois, entered the game ranked second in the nation in field goal percentage (52.8) and third in rebounding margin.

    "They took the fight to us," Utah coach Ray Giacoletti said. "New Mexico was the aggressor."

    Utah center Andrew Bogut, averaging 20.6 points and 11.8 rebounds a game, finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. But he shot just 3-for-11 in the second half and didn't get many touches until after the Lobos' lead had reached double digits late in the second half.

    "I had my normal looks, but the shots weren't falling," Bogut said.

    The Utes also didn't have much success on the perimeter, hitting just 4 of 21 3-pointers.

    "We started settling for outside shots," Giacoletti said. "If those don't go in, we've got problems. That's why we'd want to establish things inside."

    The Utes never did and Giacoletti said The Pit crowd, a season-high fever pitch, had a lot to do with his team's inability to get into a flow.

    "Everyone needs to be on the same page when you come into a situation like this," Giacoletti said. "Your players can't hear you, so you need somebody on the court to take charge."

    Danny Granger, New Mexico's leading scorer and rebounder, had 15 points and nine boards, but it was Walters who repeatedly hit the big shot or came up with a key steal.

    Just before his banked 3, Walters hit a layup that started a 7-0 run that gave New Mexico a 56-42 lead with 3:42 left. Much of the game, the Utes left Walters open and he cashed in his chances.

    "I had to take the shot," he said. "I was wide open. I was feeling pretty good and my teammates kept giving me the ball."

    Utah got within 58-51 on a dunk by Justin Hawkins with 1:13 left, but New Mexico sealed it with five free throws and a dunk by David Chiotti in the final 57 seconds. The 6-foot-9 Chiotti finished with 10 points, but had just one rebound. It didn't matter as the Utes, who came in having rebounding opponents by an average of more than 10 a game, only had one more rebound (36-35).

    Walters, who had scored a total of 18 points in the past four games, set the tempo with a layup 12 seconds into the game. That basket initiated an 8-0 run that sent The Pit crowd of 17,360 into a frenzy.

    Utah, which had not lost since falling to Arizona 67-62 on Dec. 11, took a 17-15 lead on a 3-pointer by Tim Drisdom with 7:37 left in the first half.

    Walters broke a 24-all tie and put the Lobos in front for good with a 3-pointer with 1:20 left in the half. New Mexico stretched the lead to 31-26 after Utah point guard Marc Jackson was called for an intentional technical foul for shoving New Mexico reserve Ryan Wall, who had fouled Jackson.

    Jackson hit his two free throws and Walters hit one of two foul shots off the technical on Jackson. New Mexico then got possession of the ball and reserve Kellen Walter hit a 3-pointer to put the Lobos up 31-26 at the half.

    Granger opened the second half with a 3-pointer and after Bogut hit a free throw, New Mexico's Alfred Neale scored on an offensive rebound and Walters hit a pair of free throws.

    New Mexico steadily built its lead from there as Utah scored just one field goal in the first 6½ minutes of the second half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 54 65
    FG Made-Attempted 22-60 (.367) 23-50 (.460)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-21 (.190) 7-17 (.412)
    FT Made-Attempted 6-8 (.750) 12-18 (.667)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 14

    2004-05 Season

    Jan 22, 2005 @UTAH 69, UNM 58Recap
    » Feb 21, 2005 @UNM 65, UTAH 54Recap
    Mar 12, 2005 UNM 60, @UTAH 56Recap