On Sunday, November 15th, the New Mexico Lobos drove the 223 miles to Las Cruces to beat the Aggies, 83-74. The Lobos did not play particularly great or bad. In the first half they only shot 39 percent, but responded in the second half by going 16o f 32 with heavy doses of shots coming down low. The game was close, but the Lobos always remained about 7-9 points ahead of their opponent. Sadly, this would be the last game of Devon Williams' career after an injury revealed to doctors that he has spinal stenosis.
Wednesday night the Lobos will face the Aggies again, this time with home court advantage on their side. New Mexico is coming off of a 19 point victory over Northern Iowa in Albuquerque and will look towards Elijah Brown for a repeat performance after he hung 25 points on NIU en route to MWC player of the week.
Against NMSU in November, UNM's guards did not shoot particularly well. Though Brown and Cullen Neal combined for 49 points, they did so on 14/33 shooting. Speaking of Neal, he is coming off of a 1/11 shooting night in his last game. Hopefully he can get back on track while the transfer tandem of Brown and Tim Williams continue to go off on opponents.
In the end a win is a win, and the Lobos should certainly defeat the Aggies. Still, I continue to hope for more consistency from these three as these ugly wins (as the first one against NMSU was) could be harder to come by against tougher competition. If Coach Neal has his say, the Lobos will start this game the same way that they finished off the Aggies a month ago, by looking inside to Williams.
Speaking of competition, New Mexico State will rely heavily on 6'9'' forward Pascal Siakim. The 230 pound Cameroonian averages 23.4 ppg while playing over 36 minutes a game. In his first game this season against the Lobos, he stayed true to those averages (23 points in 39 minutes of action). He does a bit of everything for the Aggies and has proven to be a good shot blocker as well. Also keep your eye on Ian Baker. The 6' point guard is averaging 15 ppg thus far, up six points from last year.
Expect the Lobos to win in front of the hometown crowd. Tomorrow night's game begins at 7:00 MT and can be viewed on ESPN3.