UNM survives first round -- did Hobson?

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- New Mexico guard Darington Hobson is scheduled to undergo an X-ray exam Friday on the wrist of his left shooting hand after a fall during the Lobos' first-round win against Montana.

"I can't really do anything that involves using the basketball," said Hobson, who was probably exaggerating a bit given he finished the game with 11 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. "It hurts. It's throbbing."

Hobson has 48 hours to recover if he merely suffered a contusion, but even having the Mountain West Conference's player of the year at less than 100 percent would be a blow with Washington coming up on Saturday.

One thing New Mexico coach Steve Alford wasn't worried about was that their 30th win of the season was ugly and their margin was only five points against No. 14-seeded Montana. It was the school's first tournament win in 11 years.

"It's not gymnastics," he said. "You don't get (style) points. When we make a lot of shots, then we look a little prettier."

That wasn't Alford's halftime speech, of course, with the Lobos down by a point and the Grizzlies' Brian Qvale scoring 17 points before the break.

"He said it didn't seem like we wanted to play and they wanted it more," Hobson said.

New Mexico didn't come out with a sense of urgency, guard Dairese Gary said. And after establishing a lead in the second half, the Lobos let the Grizzlies hang around and have it down to a one-possession game with under a minute remaining.

With a team that has no NCAA tournament experience and only one senior, Alford said he "jump-started" his players at halftime that led to a 16-3 run immediately after the break.

"They got a chip on their shoulder," Alford said. "They know we're nowhere near where we want to get to in the level of respect, but that's coming."