Utah's Marc Jackson drives past New Mexico's Troy DeVries, right, in the first half. (AP Photo/Jake Schoellkopf)
Feb. 21, 2005
By PETE HERRERA
AP Sports Writer
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Mark Walters scored a season-high 22 points and New Mexico beat No. 13 Utah 65-54 Monday night, snapping the Utes' 18-game winning streak.
The Lobos (20-6, 7-4 Mountain West Conference) 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 entered the game ranked second in the nation in field goal percentage (52.8) and third in rebounding margin.
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.
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.
Walters made a layup and followed with a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left on the shot clock to finish a 7-0 run that gave New Mexico a 56-42 lead with 3:42 left.
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.
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.