ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — JaQuan Lyle scored 31 points, including 20 in the second half Wednesday, to help New Mexico pull away from Green Bay 93-78.
After a rugged first half in which he scored 11 points but turned it over seven times, Lyle took control of the game in the second, going 4-for-6 on 3-pointers and no turnovers.
Carlton Bragg recorded the Lobos’ first double-double of the season with 11 points and 16 rebounds, while Makuach Maluach added 16 points.
For the Phoenix (1-2), JayQuan McLoud had 20 points and P.J. Pipes 17.
Several times New Mexico (3-0) threatened to run away with it early, but the Phoenix were able to regain contact.
But the Lobos went on runs of 10-2 and then 14-5 in the second half, with the latter pushing the score to 84-66 as Lyle had two 3-pointers and two foul shots in the surge.
Although New Mexico took a 49-43 lead into the break, it had 13 turnovers, leading to 17 Phoenix points. But the Lobos had just five second-half turnovers, leading to four Green Bay points.
After their second round of the Legends Classic on Saturday, the Lobos face regional and well-regarded rivals UTEP and New Mexico State on the road next week.
For the Phoenix, this is a win-now season as they have five seniors and four juniors. But the team plays a tough non-conference schedule that also includes No. 21 Xavier and Wisconsin, in addition to a season-opening 79-57 loss at Purdue.
New Mexico next plays Saturday at home against McNeese State in the second round of the Legends Classic. After a two-week hiatus, the tournament resumes in Brooklyn, N,Y., where the Lobos will face Auburn.
Green Bay travels to face the Badgers on Nov. 21 for its second-round matchup of the tournament.