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Lobo Pack: Boise State Preview

MWC play begins

Nevada v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

What:

New Mexico Lobos vs. Boise State Broncos

When:

Monday December 21st, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. MT

Where:

ExtraMile Arena in Boise, Idaho

Coverage:

The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. Radio side will be broadcasted by the Lobo Sports Radio Network, Lobo Sports App, 770 AM/96.3 FM KKOB in Albuquerque.

Series:

New Mexico owns a 12-6 record against the Broncos on the hardwood. Last season the teams split the series, with the home team winning each time.

Breakdown:

The New Mexico Lobos men’s basketball team opens up Mountain West Conference play on Monday when they visit the Boise State Broncos for the first of a two-game series during the week. The second contest will take place on Wednesday night.

The Lobos are 3-0 on the season after defeating Le Tourneau on Thursday by a final of 90-58.

Meanwhile, Boise State is 4-1 on the season. In their last contest, the Broncos beat Weber State by a final of 70-59 back on December 13th.

Boise State’s lone loss on the season was its season opener, a 68-58 loss to Houston.

What to expect from Boise State:

This should come as no surprise in this day and age of basketball, the Broncos love to shoot three pointers. In three of their five contests this season Boise State has attempted 24 three pointers, or more. In the other two games they attempted 10 and 16, respectively. Expect a three-point barrage, especially given New Mexico’s length.

The Broncos have four players averaging double figures in points. Led by Derrick Alston, Jr. who is averaging 15.2 points per game. He went for 20 and 17 points, respectively, in the two contests against UNM last season.

RayJ Dennis averages 14 points per game on the season. Dennis struggled against the Lobos last season, scoring only in the second contest, for a total of six points.

Abu Kigab at 13.4 per game and Marcus Shaver Jr. at 12.3 points per game are the other two players averaging in double figures for the Broncos.

Shaver hasn’t played since December 4th when he suffered a foot injury. He is questionable for the game against UNM.

X-Factor for the Lobos:

New Mexico has had issues with turnovers during the Paul Weir era, that is an understatement. A couple of games ago this was the same x-factor against Our Lady of the Lake and will once again be here for this game.

This isn’t Our Lady of the Lake, or Le Tourneau for that matter. The Lobos turned it over a combined 29 times in those two games but were able to win easily thanks in part to the difference in talent.

With the talent level higher with the Broncos, the Lobos can ill afford anywhere near 15 turnovers and expect to stay in this game. If the final margin is wide in favor of Boise State, expect there to be a ton of UNM turnovers in the box score.

Prediction:

Aside from the last time these two hooked up, the Broncos-Lobos matchups have a history of going down to the wire. In the previous eight between BSU and UNM, six of them had been decided by five points or less.

New Mexico was lucky to get games in prior to this, thanks to Rice, and are not going to be rusty in this. However, Boise State is much better than any of the three opponents that the Lobos have faced this season to date. This will be a barometer of how well this team will be this season.

Boise State is favored by 10 at the time of this writing, I expect a closer game, but I think Boise State does just enough to get by the Lobos. I like Broncos-77 Lobos-72.