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Howling With The Lobos: Cal State-Northridge Preview

Lobos looking to go 2-0

Eastern New Mexico v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

What: New Mexico Lobos vs. Cal State-Northridge Matadors

When: Saturday November 9th, 2019 at 7 p.m. Mountain

Where: DreamStyle Arena a.k.a. The Pit in Albuquerque

Coverage: The Mountain West Network (themw.com/watch) will have viewing coverage, The UNM Sports Radio Network will have the call on the radio side.

Series: This is the seventh all-time meeting between the two, and the Lobos are 6-0. New Mexico got a buzzer beating three pointer from Anthony Mathis to win 87-84 in Northridge last season.

Breakdown:

The Lobos enter the game at 1-0 after beating Eastern New Mexico 92-71 on Wednesday night. Cal State-Northridge comes into The Pit 0-1 after losing to Oregon State 87-67 on Tuesday night. The Lobos will be looking for their fourth consecutive home victory on Saturday night. A win by the Lobos would mean that every season under Paul Weir they have started 2-0.

X-Factor:

JaQuan Lyle was outstanding in his debut for the Lobos, scoring nine points and dishing out 11 assists. Many of his passes electrified the home crowd and have provided more optimism not only for tonight’s contest, but for the rest of the season. If the Matadors want a chance in this game, they will need to corral Lyle and his playmaking abilities.

Lobos have depth:

It was fun to watch the Lobos in the opener and see five players score in double figures, even as their potential best player in Vance Jackson was held to just six points. That will pay dividends throughout the season as several times last season Jackson had to put the team on his shoulders and carry them to victory. If he doesn’t have to do that as much this season the Lobos will be a dangerous team come Mountain West play.

How does CSUN matchup:

The Matadors have, just like Eastern New Mexico, two really good guards. Terrell Gomez is the leader of CSUN, he scored 19 points against Oregon State, and Lobo fans may remember him from last season when he dropped 21 on UNM. Elijah Harkless is the other guard who poses a threat to the Lobos. Harkless likes to drive the ball to the rim and got nine of his 15 points at the free throw line at Oregon State.

Now, one player that might play for CSUN that some fans might recognize is Ron Artest III. Yes, Artest III is the son of Metta World Peace, formally Ron Artest Jr. the longtime NBA player.

Prediction:

The Lobos, again, have the better team on paper. They were able to clamp down on Eastern New Mexico’s two prolific guards and will have to do the same in this game. I fully expect JaQuan Lyle, Carlton Bragg, and Vance Jackson to have big games in this one. I got the Lobos-88 Matadors-65.