The Wolf Pack wilted in the second half once again Saturday night, falling 75-62 to the New Mexico Lobos in front of a crowd of 15,346 at The Pit. The loss is the Pack's sixth in their last eight games and leaves them treading water in seventh place in the Mountain West at 2-5 (11-10 overall).
New Mexico, ranked 20th in the latest Associated Press poll, leads the conference at 6-1 (19-3 overall).
The Wolf Pack has been outscored by an average of 13.2 points in the second half in its five Mountain West losses.
The Pack, which will host Colorado State on Wednesday (7 p.m.) and Air Force on Saturday (3 p.m.) at Lawlor Events Center, led the Lobos 51-50 with 11:17 to play after a 3-pointer by Deonte Burton.
The Lobos, though, outscored the Pack 25-11 over the final 10 minutes to close out the victory. Chad Adams drained two 3-pointers and the Lobos converted six free throws in the final 2:30 to fuel the run.
New Mexico led just 67-61 with 3:39 to play but the Pack could only score one more point the rest of the game.
The Wolf Pack, making its first visit in school history to The Pit, took its first lead at 39-37 with 17 minutes left in the second half on a pair of free throws by Burton. Burton, who had just two points at halftime, scored 11 in the second half to finish with 13.
The Pack led just three times in the final 17 minutes, 41-40 after a jumper by Malik Story with 16:18 to go, 45-43 on a jumper by Devonte Elliott with 14:39 left and 51-50 with 11:17 left on Burton's trey.
Elliott, who played 25 minutes off the bench, didn't score or grab a rebound in 11 minutes in the first half. The 6-foot-10 center finished with six points and just three boards.
It was Story who kept the Pack in the game, particularly in the first half.
The senior guard scored 15 points in the first 20 minutes as the Pack trailed just 34-32 at the break. During one six-minute stretch in the first half, Story was the only Pack player to score, scoring all 12 of his team's points.
Story, who finished with 20 points in 39 minutes, had two 3-pointers just 25 seconds apart as the Pack shaved the Lobos lead to 19-18 with 7:21 to go in the first half.
Story, though, scored just five points in the second half as the Pack offense evaporated down the stretch.
Hugh Greenwood led the Lobos with 15 points and six assists. Adams had 10 points off the bench and Demetrius Walker had a dozen in 18 minutes in a backup role. Walker had a pair of 3-pointers just 35 seconds apart to give the Lobos a 22-18 lead with 6:57 to go in the first half.
The Pack defense, though, held Lobos starters Tony Snell, Kendall Williams, Alex Kirk and Cameron Bairstow to just 28 points combined. Williams and Snell, though, each had five assists.
The Lobos shot 56 per cent (28-of-50) for the game and a sizzling 14-of-23 (61 percent) in the second half. The Pack shot 41 per cent for the game and just 34.4 per cent (11-of-32) in the second half.
The Lobos drained 11-of-21 (52.4 per cent) 3-pointers. The Pack was 10-of-26.
Kevin Panzer and Elliott, the Pack's two post players, each failed to block a shot for the fourth consecutive game. The Pack, though, out-rebounded the Lobos 33-29 as Jerry Evans led the team with nine.
The 2-5 start in Mountain West play is the Pack's worst conference start after eight games since it opened 1-7 in the Western Athletic Conference in 2000-01.