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March 1, 2013

Adams, Fenton play final Pit game

Chad Adams and Jamal Fenton will be making their last strolls down the ramp to the Pit floor Saturday afternoon, and that is always a tough feeling for a New Mexico Lobo.

UNM players traditionally have a love affair with Lobo fans, and the only two seniors on the team this season are real fan favorites. They'll be playing their last home game when the Lobos take on Wyoming in a 3 p.m. game.

These two players have won more games with UNM than anyone in school history. They will be going for their 105th wins as Lobos.

The two seniors will start as part of the tribute to them. Adams, a hometown product from Albuquerque's Highland High, was a starter for 14 games this season until coach Steve Alford decided to go with a bigger lineup, taking Adams out and putting in Cameron Bairstow.

Adams has played in all 27 games for the 23-4 Lobos, starting 14. He is the consummate role player, taking on whatever jobs the coaches ask of him without question. Wearing a contagious smile and carrying a positive attitude, he is averaging 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds a game, playing an average of 11 minutes per game.

``My career has had its ups and downs,'' said Adams, who often is surrounded by family. ``My role now is whatever coach wants me to do.''

Adams is having trouble realizing that his four years as a Lobo are coming to an end. ``I don't know where all the time went. It was like a blur. It'll be really emotional for me. It could be my last time in the Pit.''

Fenton is the ultimate spark coming off the bench. He's listed at 5-9, but that might be exaggerated. Fenton, who is from Houston, is known for his quickness. He has 113 steals in his four years and averages 4.9 points and 15 minutes per game.

These two guys aren't superstars when it comes to statistics and visibility, but they are keys to a team that is listed No. 1 in the RPI this week and ranked No. 14 in the polls.

New Mexico can wrap up the Mountain West Conference regular-season title Saturday afternoon by beating the Cowboys. It would be UNM's fifth championship in six seasons under Alford.

``There would be nothing more fitting than to win the championship at home,'' Alford said.

``We want to win this thing on Saturday,'' said UNM center Alex Kirk. ``We kind of owe it to our fans. The seniors, they deserve it. They've worked hard.''


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