What: New Mexico Lobos vs McNeese State Cowboys
When: Saturday November 16th, 2019 at 4 p.m. Mountain
Where: DreamStyle Arena a.k.a. The Pit
Coverage: The Mountain West Network (themw.com/watch), The UNM Sports Network on the radio, (770 AM/94.5 FM KKOB in Albuquerque)
Series: This is the second meeting between the schools. The last meeting was back in December of 1998, the Lobos won 90-46.
The Lobos sit at 3-0 for the first time under Paul Weir, after getting by Green Bay 93-78 on Wednesday. In that game JaQuan Lyle continued his hot start to the season by scoring 31 points. Carlton Bragg had a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds for UNM. The Lobos will be looking for their first 4-0 start since the 2012-13 season when they started 12-0.
The McNeese State Cowboys are 1-3 on the season. Their lone win coming over NAIA Southern University of New Orleans by a final of 104-33. The Cowboys have lost to Wisconsin 83-63, to Louisiana-Lafayette 85-80, and to Western Michigan 75-65.
This contest is apart of the Legends Classic, which again the Lobos will play the tournament part on November 25th and 26th.
The offensive hot streak looks to continue:
The Lobos have scored over 90 points in each game this season. Granted, the competition is not what it will be later in the season, but still a great achievement, nonetheless. In comparison, the Lobo team that started 12-0 in 2012-13, and ended up 26-5 in the regular season, scored over 90 points only once that entire season.
Needless to say, JaQuan Lyle has been a great addition, and replacement, for Anthony Mathis who transferred to Oregon in the offseason. Lyle’s 19.3 points per game leads the way for the Lobos this season, who also have four others averaging in double figures in points. Carlton Bragg with 13.7, Corey Manigault with 13.0, Makuach Maluach with 12.3, and Zane Martin with 11.7 are the other four.
Get ready for turquoise:
Saturday’s contest is the annual Nike N7 game in which the Lobos will wear turquoise jerseys to celebrate American Indian Heritage month. The Lobos are proud to continue their partnership with Nike N7 as part of a celebration and recognition of American Indian Heritage Month. Nike N7 is a longtime commitment and mission to inspire and enable two million Native American and Aboriginal youth in North America to participate in sport and physical activity.
The Legend of the game:
Fans will also get to see Lobo Legend Michael Cooper be honored during the game, and with a celebration at halftime as he is this game’s Lobo Legend honoree apart of the season long campaign to honor former Lobo greats.
What about McNeese State:
The Cowboys do boast three players of their own averaging in double figures. They start with Dru Kuxhaussen who averages 15 points per game. Kuxhaussen scored just nine points against Wisconsin but is known to be the guy that will get the ball most often for the Cowboys. If the Lobos can limit him in the same manner that the Badgers did the other night, it very well could lead to a win for UNM.
Lobo fans will also hear a lot of Sha’Markus Kennedy, who averages 14.8 points per game. Kennedy dropped 20 points on Wisconsin, and the 6-foot-8 senior forward will be doing a lot of battling with Carlton Bragg in the low block.
Junior guard A.J. Lawson also poses a threat to the UNM defense. Lawson is averaging 14.3 points per game but has been on a steady decline over the season as far as points go. He scored 21 against Western Michigan, had 14 against Louisiana-Lafayette, 12 points against Southern of New Orleans, and was held to just 10 points against Wisconsin. With the Lobos keying on Kuxhaussen and Kennedy don’t be surprised if Lawson starts to pour in the points.
Although McNeese State doesn’t pose as much of a threat as I thought Green Bay did, they still shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially with a two-game road trip on the horizon for the Lobos. UNM did struggle to get going against Green Bay, but eventually did and pulled away. One game this season I would like to see the Lobos start fast and stay fast throughout this might be the game in which they can do that given McNeese State’s lack of size in the front court. I like the Lobos-98 Cowboys-72.