No. 25 New Mexico uses hot finish to ground Air Force

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Jamal Mashburn Jr. had 24 points — his sixth consecutive game with at least 20 — and Jaelen House added 19 in No. 25 New Mexico’s 81-73 victory Friday night over visiting Air Force at Albuquerque, N.M.

The Lobos (19-3, 6-3 Mountain West) bounced back after losing in double-overtime at Nevada on Monday.

Air Force (12-10, 3-6) has lost three straight after putting together a three-game winning streak.

House also had six steals, five rebounds and four assists. Morris Udeze added 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and had eight rebounds.

The Falcons were led by Rytis Petraitis’ 19 points and 11 rebounds. Ethan Taylor had 17 points and five assists, and Beau Becker finished with 12 points.

New Mexico’s 11-of-14 shooting from the field in the last 11:07 enabled the Lobos’ rally from a 53-51 deficit. Mashburn scored 12 points and House added six in the last 8:25 to help the Lobos pull away.

New Mexico did not trail in the game until 13:32 remained when Jeffrey Mills converted a three-point play to put Air Force ahead 51-49.

The Lobos led by as many as 12 points in the first half.

Mashburn scored six straight points to put the Lobos ahead 38-26 with 4:16 left before halftime.

After the Falcons cut the lead to 40-34 with 1:43 left in the first half, House made a 3-pointer a minute later to close the scoring going to halftime.

New Mexico made only one field goal in the first 8:53 of the second half before its torrid shooting performance down the stretch. The Lobos were outscored 19-6 in the first seven-plus minutes of the second half as Air Force took a 53-49 lead with 12:17 remaining.

Mashburn fueled a 9-1 run with seven points to give New Mexico a 71-66 lead with 3:59 left.

New Mexico outscored Air Force 23-10 in points off turnovers and 40-26 in points in the paint.

–Field Level Media

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