What: New Mexico Lobos vs. Houston Baptist Huskies
When: Sunday December 22nd, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. Mountain
Where: DreamStyle Arena a.k.a. The Pit in Albuquerque, NM
Coverage: The Mountain West Network will have television coverage (themw.com/watch), while the UNM Sports Radio Network will have the radio broadcast (770 AM/94.5 FM KKOB in Albuquerque, or TuneIn App search KKOB).
Series: This will be the third time that the Huskies and Lobos have faced off, the Lobos own a 2-0 series lead. Last time out was back in 2016 when the Lobos won 95-79 with Tim Williams going for 31 points that night.
The New Mexico Lobos will be looking to extend a pair of streaks on Sunday afternoon when they host the winless Houston Baptist Huskies at The Pit. The Lobos will be gunning for their seventh straight victory, and also looking to extend their home winning streak to 11 games, dating back to last season.
The Lobos beat Grand Canyon, 91-71, in their last outing. JaQuan Lyle led the way with 21 points and Carlton Bragg chipped in 20 points. They were two of the five Lobos that scored in double figures in that contest.
Houston Baptist has played the third toughest schedule so far, according to KenPom. They were easily handled last game out by Stephen F. Austin by a final of 96-68. In fact, only once this season have the Huskies allowed fewer than 90 points in a game, their season opening 80-72 loss to Tulsa, and have allowed over 100 points four times.
Who poses a threat from Houston Baptist:
The Huskies do have some solid players that are able to score well on the offensive end. It’s the defensive end that has given the Huskies fits.
Guard Ian DuBose is the Huskies top player. He is averaging 16.6 points per game this season. He had just 14 points against SF Austin but has scored 20 or more points in three contests this season.
Guard Jalon Gates is on level with DuBose as far as offensive threats go. He is averaging 16.2 points per game, though he was held to just five points against SF Austin. Gates likes to shoot the three, 32 of his 48 made field goals this season have been from beyond the arc, so it’ll be imperative for the Lobos to guard the perimeter.
New faces stepping up for Lobos:
The Lobos saw some new, but maybe familiar, faces step up against Grand Canyon last game out. It was the debut for transfer Vante Hendrix, and he knocked down four three-pointers on his way to 12 points in the contest.
For just the third time this season Vance Jackson reached double figures in scoring, as he too had 12 points against Grand Canyon. For Jackson that was his highest scoring game of the season. The Lobos hope he will continue to improve on that, especially when the resume Mountain West play next month.
Normally I’m pretty pushy about the Lobos needing to cut down on their turnovers. However, I don’t think that’ll matter too much in this game, although they really shouldn’t test it. As mentioned above the Houston Baptist defense is suspect to say the least. The Lobos usually take flight during these kinds of games and I am expecting nothing less in this one. This will be a great opportunity to get reserves some playing time, and to work on some of their basics. I got the Lobos-105 Houston Baptist-71.