By GLEN ROSALES , Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Jorden Duffy and Roosevelt Smart scored 14 points apiece and North Texas never trailed Tuesday night in beating New Mexico 74-65.
The Mean Green (11-1) beat the Lobos (5-5) at their own game, slicing through the press and driving the lane at will to consistently create easy baskets.
Ryan Woolridge added 11 points, six steals and seven assists for North Texas, while Michael Miller also added 11 points.
Anthony Mathis led New Mexico with 20 points, including 11-for-11 from the foul line, but he was 1-for-5 on 3s.
The game was tied once at 17-17 at the 8:41 mark when Vance Jackson and Keith McGee hit consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 9-0 New Mexico run. But North Texas responded with a 10-0 run.
New Mexico finished the first half 1-for-9 inside the arc, making its first 2-pointer at the buzzer to pull within 35-29 at the break.
The Lobos closed within 50-45 midway through the second half, but the Mean Green scored the next five to restore a comfortable margin. New Mexico would not get closer than six the rest of the way.
New Mexico’s December has not been one to remember so far as the Lobos suffered through a 3-game losing streak earlier in the month and struggled to put away Central Arkansas, before losing to North Texas.
This was the Mean Green’s first game in 10 days, but they showed little rust early in what was expected to be one of their toughest outings. North Texas’ 11-1 start is its best since the 1976-77 season.
New Mexico is at home Dec. 22 against Penn, which recently knocked off defending national champion Villanova.
North Texas next plays Arkansas-Pine Bluff at home Dec. 20 in the final tune up before starting Conference USA play Dec. 29 at Rice.