New Mexico beats Air Force. Barely. I'm really not certain that the MWC is good or not good. I do know that it wasn't easy for New Mexico to win the game. I have fought the Big Conference snobs daily regarding the perception that the Mountain West conference is weak. "Who do they play, and who did they beat?" All relevant questions and comments. I think Air Force is just mentally tough. That's what I've always thought. I think Air Force would finish in the middle of the pack of just about every conference because of that asset.
o.k. game time. Whew! That powerhouse, Air Force basketball, gave the Lobos all they could handle tonight. Gordon managed a double-double yet again and Jamal Fenton had a great 1st half. Nice that Dairese could play his last regular season game and be a piece of winning the game with his play down the stretch. New Mexico hit freethrows to win.
This Air Force team just seems to know exactly what to do with New Mexico. They played exceptionally smart basketball and kept it close throughout and shot the 3's when they needed to. Th Falcons are a team that could pull an upset next week in Vegas if their long ball is going in.
A disturbing sign hidden within the obviously successful final night at the Pit was that during the 1st half we saw the same lackadaisical energy that has plagued this year's young Lobo team. Fortunately, the Lobos started some good effort a bit earlier than many of this year's games and without it, I'm afraid we would have seen another heart-breaking loss at the end of the game. Hopefully, this was a let-down game after the spectacular performance at Provo. I will admit that New Mexico did shoot the ball decently from outside in the 1st half, but their perimeter defense was lacking- really it was a general lack of energy- and that just won't do it in any tournament. The big guys started playing in the 2nd half.
We'll hope for the best next week and that the Lobos have some tough practices and get ready for the 1st round. Coach Alford and Neal better get their act together and ensure their team starts playing at the tip-off. The challenge will be to win the first game, because that's the scary one.