Jan. 28, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Chad Toppert made the most of his first start in almost a year, at one point scoring eight straight second-half points for New Mexico on Wednesday, leading the Lobos to a 68-50 victory over Mountain West Conference rival Colorado State.
Toppert, the normal UNM sixth man, replaced ill Phillip McDonald. Although he wasn't at his best shooting, he finished with a game-high 18 points, while teammate Tony Danridge added 16. The duo combined to go 16-for-17 from the foul line.
Jesse Carr's 15 points paced the Rams (7-14, 2-5).
Both teams struggled through a sluggish first half, although New Mexico (13-8, 4-2) used a 9-0 run near the break to take a 24-19 into intermission, with Daniel Faris, who finished with 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds, collecting four points in the surge.
CSU went the first 12:40 without hitting a basket inside the three-point arc, although it did have three three-pointers.
The Lobos came out strong in the second half, starting it with a 13-5 run in which Toppert scored eight of the points for a 37-24 advantage. At one point he sank three free throws, and on the next possession, scooped up a loose ball on the press and took it in, sliding between two Rams for the lay up.
The closest the Rams would get thereafter was seven points.
Still, UNM didn't make its first three-pointer until almost six minutes into the second half and it finished 3-14 behind the arc.