New Mexico had six players score in double figures to beat Air Force, 87-58, Wednesday night in Dreamstyle Arena – The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M. in the Mountain West opener for each school.
The Lobos opened the second half with a 13-6 run to take a 49-26 lead with 14:25 remaining and never looked back. The closest Air Force got after that was 19 points, 60-41, with 9:14 left. UNM extended the lead to as many as 31 points on multiple occasions before finishing with the 29-point cushion.
Jachai Simmons had 15 points to lead the Lobos. Dane Kuiper added 13 points and Joe Furstinger chipped in with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Anthony Mathis scored 11, Sam Logwood 10 and Antino Jackson scored 10 points and dished out nine assists. The Lobos hit 50 percent from the field, including 63.3 in the second half. New Mexico finished 14 of 33 from 3-point territory.
Lavelle Scottie scored 12 points to lead Air Force. Jonathan DeWane added eight points and Ryan Swan chipped in with seven points and four rebounds. Freshman Keaton Van Soelen added five points and a team-best six rebounds. The Falcons hit just 37.9 percent from the field, including just 18.8 percent from three. Air Force out-rebounded New Mexico, 39-34, but had 17 turnovers.
The Falcons scored the first points of the game for just the fourth time this season with a Trevor Lyons layup at the 18:13 mark. The Lobos, leading 10-9 with 11:35 to play, used a 12-0 run to take a 22-9 lead with 7:27 left. The Falcons, who hit just 32.0 percent from the field in the first half, went 5:09 without a field goal before back-to-back layups by Pervis Louder to make it 25-15 with 5:58 left. The Lobos closed the half with an 11-5 spurt to take a 36-20 halftime lead.
Air Force falls to 6-7 overall and 0-1 in Mountain West play. The Falcons play at Fresno State Saturday, Dec. 30, at 5 p.m. MT. New Mexico improved to 6-8 overall and 1-0 in the MW. The Lobos have won three straight.