ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -Roman Martinez has struggled with his shot the past three games.
He found the range when he needed to Friday night, knocking down consecutive 3-pointers to erase Dayton's only lead as No. 19 New Mexico beat the Flyers 68-66.
``Ro hit two big threes,' Lobos coach Steve Alford said. ``Those were big plays.'
Martinez finished with 17 points, but down the stretch, it was Dairese Gary making the plays from the foul line for New Mexico (14-1). He scored 18 points with the final seven coming from the line in the closing 2 minutes.
Chris Johnson led Dayton (10-3) with 21 points, 11 of those in the final minute of play.
Flyers coach Brian Gregory said the 3-pointers from Martinez were key plays.
``He does all the things that he needed to do to help his team win,' he said. ``There isn't a coach in the country that wouldn't take him.'
The loss snapped Dayton's eight-game winning streak.
The game was a good one for the teams to prepare them for their respective conference seasons that are approaching.
``I think both programs and teams benefit from games like this,' Gregory said. ``We're going to go into some tough environments over the next two months in our league against some high-quality teams and obviously we need to play better
Darington Hobson added 15 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists for New Mexico.
The Flyers held a brief 37-36 lead early in the second half on London Warren's breakaway dunk. After another basket, New Mexico quickly answered on consecutive 3-pointers by Martinez.
Neither team really shot well, with New Mexico going 19 for 40 from the field and Dayton hitting a season-worst 21 of 62. The Flyers particularly struggled on 3-pointers, making 8 of 33, which also represented their worst shooting outside shooting this season.
With a poor shooting night overall, Alford said he was happy to come away with a victory.
``I think our team can really gain even more confidence out of this because this was a really, really good basketball team that is well coached,' he said. ``So I feel fortunate to get a win.'
The Associated Press News Service
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