ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Gauchos had their biggest test of the non-conference season and it's safe to say UCSB would like to retake the exam later in the season.
New Mexico took control of the game early in the second half and cruised to an easy 84-61 victory at The Pit where the Lobos improved to 5-0 on the season and 8-1 overall.
The Gauchos kept it close in the first half as they trailed 42-35 at the break.
But UCSB just didn't play well enough in many areas as they lost the rebound battle (41-33), committed 19 turnovers and had a poor shooting night(36.2% including just 3-of-17 from three-point distance).
Ajay Mitchell led the Gauchos with 22 points but he made only 4-of-17 shots from the field.
The star junior did most of his damage at the free throw line making all 14 of his attempts.
Yohan Traore added 18 points for UCSB who had their 4-game win streak snapped as they fall to 4-3.
The Lobos shot 51.5% from the floor and were led by Donovan Dent who had a game-high 23 points.
The last time UCSB played at The Pit was back in 2002 when they almost upset Arizona in a first-round NCAA Tournament game before losing 86-81.