Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Heading to River City.(Sports)

Byline: Mark Smith Journal Staff Writer

Memphis Awaits UNM After Win

Dave Bliss arrived a week too soon. This was the epitome of a Pit Game.

Behind a vociferous throng of 16,278 that seemingly turned back time, the University of New Mexico men's basketball team posted a sensational 81-78 comeback win Tuesday night against Pepperdine.

The National Invitation Tournament win sends the Lobos (21-12) to Memphis (19-14) for a third-round game Thursday night.

"This is the first time since I've been here where the crowd literally took over the game," said UNM coach Fran Fraschilla, who replaced Bliss as the Lobos' coach two years ago. "Would you want to shoot jump shots into that crowd? It was unbelievable."

Bliss, who coined the phrase "Pit Game," in reference to such occasions, watched his Baylor Bears lose at New Mexico last week in the NIT's first round. As loud as that crowd was, it couldn't match the intensity Tuesday. This was a flashback to the rocking 1970s. …

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