ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Jan. 17, 2009) - BYU (14-3, 2-1) fell to the New Mexico Lobos (11-7, 2-1) 81-62 in Mountain West Conference play in a hard-fought battle Saturday to a sold out crowd at The Pit.
"New Mexico's team was extremely dialed in and focused," said BYU head coach Dave Rose. They were very difficult to guard. Our game plan was good, but we didn't execute them as well as we could have."
Senior Gavin MacGregor came off the bench and posted the best performance of his career with 11 points and six offensive boards against the Lobos. MacGregor had seven total rebounds. His point and rebound totals are career highs.
"Gavin has been playing better than I've ever seen him in practice," said Rose.
"I've been trying to put a lot of work into my game, getting pointers from a lot of people," said MacGregor. "Changing and adapting helps me gain confidence and I continue to progress in practice and in games. I am trying to get as good as I can to contribute to my team the best I can. I try to do everything in my power to be a team player."
Three Cougars were in double figures with sophomore Jimmer Fredette leading the team with 15 points, Jonathan Tavernari with 13 points and MacGregor with 11.
New Mexico opened the scoring on the afternoon with a 5-0 run and the Cougars tried to match their runs for the entire game.
The Cougars captured their first lead of the game at the 14:24 mark with a fastbreak layup by Tavernari. BYU later posted a 6-0 run against the Lobos including Lamont Morgan, Jr.'s 10th three of the season. The 6-0 run ended with the Lobos matching the Cougar points at 19.
The Cougars would struggle to keep up with the Lobos the entire first half, going into the locker rooms with New Mexico leading by seven points at 41-34.
New Mexico scored the first point of the second half with a free throw, answered by a three-point play by Jimmer Fredette. He would later make a three to tie the game at 44 at the 16:14 mark.
However the Lobos picked up their play, tallying big leads and finishing off the night with a 19-point win, the biggest loss of the season for the Cougars.
BYU posted their lowest points of the season with 62 and ended their perfect road game streak with their first loss (5-1).
"Late in this game when they put us away was a new experience for us, we'll see how we respond to that," said Rose. "We have back-to-back conference home games this next week and we need to get ready for two strong teams in the Marriott Center."
BYU returns to the Marriott Center to play UNLV on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. MT. Follow the game on www.byucougars.com and listen live on the radio beginning with the pregame show at 7 p.m. MT on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM out of Salt Lake City or via the Internet at KSL.com. The game will be televised live on CBS C.