Utah State To Face New Mexico In Mountain West Quarterfinals

Mar 8, 2023, 7:31 PM | Updated: 9:20 pm

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The Utah State Aggies have 26 hours to prepare for New Mexico after the Lobos knocked off Wyoming in the first round of the 2023 Mountain West Championships.

#3 Utah State (24-7, 13-5) will face #6 New Mexico (22-10, 9-10) in the Mountain West quarterfinals on Thursday, March 9. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. (MT).

An undermanned Wyoming team fought hard, taking a 38-35 halftime lead on the back of Hunter Maldonado’s 20 first-half points. New Mexico weathered the attack until their superior depth took over in the second half. The Lobos won 87-76.

Jaelen House led the Lobos with 28 points, six assists, and three steals. Jamal Mashburn Jr. added 20 points while Morris Udeze tallied 15 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

RELATED: Mountain West Regular Season Honors Announced, Steven Ashworth Named To First-Team

New Mexico Lobos (22-10, 9-10)

The Lobos opened the season on a 13-game winning streak, becoming the last Division 1 team to lose a game when they fell at Fresno State on January 3. Since that time, the Lobos have played under .500 basketball.

Led by the three-headed monster of Jamal Mashburn Jr., Jaelen House and Morris Udeze, New Mexico can be one of the most dangerous teams in the country when playing well. UNM led the Mountain West, scoring 81.2 points per game, 2.1 points better than the second place Aggies. Defensively, New Mexico allowed a league worst 73.4 points per contest.

RELATED: Utah State’s Steven Ashworth ‘100% Focused’ On Mountain West Tournament

A junior, Mashburn led the MW in scoring at 19.5 points per game. House (16.8 ppg) and Udeze (16.4) finished sixth and seventh, respectively. All three finished in the Mountain West’s top-8 for field goal percentage with Udeze’s .621 leading the league.

Udeze’s 9.2 rebounds per game led the conference with Josiah Allick fourth at 7.3 boards.

House leads the MW and is fourth in the country with 2.6 steals per game. He is tied with Steven Ashworth with 4.7 assists per game.

Mashburn earned all-MW first-team honors. House was named to the all-MW second team and all-defense with Udeze receiving a nod as all-MW third team.

Mashburn & House each have NBA in their bloodlines. Jamal Mashburn Sr. played at Kentucky (1991-93) before spending 12 seasons in the NBA. Eddie House became Arizona State’s all-time leading scorer (1997-00) before spending 11 years in the NBA. His uncle, Mike Bibby, played 14 seasons in the NBA. His grandfather, Henry Bibby, played nine seasons in the NBA and coached in both the NBA and college.

Utah State Downs New Mexico In Logan

USU soundly defeated New Mexico in their only matchup this season, prevailing 84-73 on February 1.

The Aggies jumped out to a 25-9 early lead as the Lobos struggled from the field. Midway through the first half, New Mexico tightened up their defense enough to go on a 14-4 run but USU proved to be too much, taking a 46-27 halftime lead.

RELATED: Utah State Beats New Mexico In Convincing Fashion

The Lobos briefly cut the lead to single-digits in the second half but they were unable to get over the final hurdle with Utah State eventually picking up the victory.

Senior Sean Bairstow led USU with 20 points and five rebounds. Steven Ashworth went 9-of-9 from the free throw line on his way to 19 points. Graduate senior Dan Akin poured in 16 points off the bench while notching a team-high five assists. Junior guard Max Shulga made three three’s to finish with 13 points.

Five Lobos scored in double figures with Jamal Mashburn Jr. leading the way with 17. Morris Udeze finished with a double-double, scoring 16 points and securing a game-high 12 boards in the loss. Jaelen House (14), Josiah Allick (10), and Javonté Johnson (10) round out the group.

How To Watch

Utah State will face New Mexico on Thursday, March 9. Tip-off for this game is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. (MT). The 2023 Mountain West Championships are being held at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Every Utah State basketball game can be heard on the KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

Coverage of Utah State University Athletics from KSL Sports can be found here. 

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

Utah State Aggies


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Utah State To Face New Mexico In Mountain West Quarterfinals