Recap: New Mexico vs. South Dakota St
Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - Nate Wolters posted game highs of 28 points and seven assists as South Dakota State stunned 16th-ranked and previously unbeaten New Mexico, 70-65, at The Pit.
Wolters made good on 9-of-15 field goal attempts to pace the Jackrabbits' offense, while South Dakota State (10-4) also delivered on the defensive end to notch the program's first-ever win over a ranked opponent.
The defending Summit League champions held the Lobos to a 37 percent success rate from the floor and led nearly wire-to-wire.
"We've gone on the road the last five years and won a game like this," said Jackrabbits head coach Scott Nagy. "Our kids understand what it's like to play in these situations, and I agree, I thought we answered well and never let them get the lead."
The shocking victory also came just three days after SDSU was routed at Belmont by 27 points (76-49) on Wednesday.
Jordan Dykstra added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Jackrabbits, with Chad White contributing 13 points to the triumph.
Kendall Williams finished with 21 points for New Mexico (12-1), which saw a 14-game home win streak against non-conference opponents come to an end. Tony Snell had 13 points in defeat.
"We never got in sync all night." said Lobos head coach Steve Alford. "Our rhythm was bad, I think from beginning to end. And [South Dakota State] had a lot to do with that. It's a very good basketball team. They play well together. The Wolters kid is the real deal and as good of a point guard as we've played all year."
The Lobos also entered the matchup with a 23-0 all-time record in December home dates under Alford, but never held a lead after netting the contest's first three points.
South Dakota State countered with eight consecutive points, highlighted by treys from White and Brayden Carlson, which ignited a 15-4 overall run that put the Jackrabbits ahead.
A Williams layup and a Chad Adams triple pulled New Mexico within 15-12, but SDSU answered with six unanswered to take a nine-point lead with nine minutes left in the half.
The margin would reach double digits when Carlson knocked down a 3-pointer in transition to put the Jackrabbits up 33-23 with around 5 1/2 minutes remaining before intermission. New Mexico would close out the frame with a 9-3 spurt, however, with a pair of Williams free throws bringing the home team within 38-34 at the break.
The Lobos failed to carry that momentum into the second half, however. South Dakota State accounted for seven of the first nine points of the period, with a Dykstra three staking the Jackrabbits to a 45-36 advantage three minutes in.
New Mexico would trim the deficit to three when Jamal Fenton followed a basket by teammate Demetrius Walker with a jumper from beyond the arc, making the score 51-48 with just under nine minutes to play. But again, South Dakota State would have a response.
Dykstra buried a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, and Wolters converted a conventional 3-point play after a Lobos turnover to push the lead back to nine.
"Today my teammates did a great job of knocking down shots and we shot really well from the three," said Wolters. "When we hit shots, we are tough to beat."
New Mexico would get as close as four points down over the final stages, but Wolters hit a clutch second-chance jumper with 1:56 left for a 62-56 SDSU edge and White sank two foul shots after a pair of unsuccessful trips by the Lobos to extend the differential to eight with under a minute to go.
The Jackrabbits went 8-for-8 from the foul line in the final minute to seal the outcome, and finished the game 13-of-15 from the charity stripe.Game Notes
South Dakota State, which moved up to Division I in 2004-05, made its first-
ever NCAA D-I tournament appearance last season and also played in
Albuquerque, where the Jackrabbits dropped a 68-60 verdict to third-seeded
Baylor in the second round ... Williams now has 1,008 career points, making
him the 30th player in the history of the Lobos program to reach the milestone
... New Mexico also started out the 2009-10 campaign 12-0 before falling to a
then-member of the Summit League, losing to Oral Roberts that season.