It wasn't supposed to be that easy.
The New Mexico Lobos put on a demonstration at both ends of the floor Tuesday night as they manhandled Air Force 81-42. It was the most lopsided loss in the history of Clune Arena at Air Force and UNM's biggest road win in 14 years.
New Mexico shot an impressive 59.3 percent while holding the Falcons to 29.4 percent. The Lobos almost put on a clinic to improve to 18-4 overall, 4-2 in the Mountain West Conference.
UNM coach Steve Alford was a happy man. ''We really guarded. We took them out of the things they wanted to do. Our defense was outstanding,'' he said. ''I thought we had a great demeanor coming in.''
''Our offense was really getting into a rhythm. We took good shots. When all 11 players score on the road, that's a good game. We've got 18 wins going into February and that's special,'' Alford said.
The only shortcoming for the Lobos was turnovers in the first half. They had problems holding onto the ball with 11 turnovers before intermission, keeping the score reasonable. UNM had just five turnovers in the second half and quickly turn the game into a rout.
''I thought we executed the way we wanted to,'' Alford pointed out. ''We're 18-4. We're doing a lot of good things. This is a big road win for us. This is a game we had to win.â€™â€™
The bench outscored the starters for UNM. The six subs combined for 42 points, tying the Falcons by themselves. The bench had 39 points, which was the margin in the game.
No one had a big night in scoring for New Mexico. Starters Kendall Williams and Drew Gordon had 13 points each. Demetrius Walker and Phillip McDonald came off the bench to score 11 each. Gordon and Walker had eight rebounds each.
The game was expected to be close after Air Force took No. 12 UNLV into overtime before losing on Saturday. The Lobos are one game behind San Diego State and UNLV in the MWC standings. New Mexico wraps up its first pass through the conference Saturday with a game at Boise State.