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Howling With The Lobos: San Diego State Preview

Lobos looking to stun Nation

NCAA Basketball: San Diego State at New Mexico Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

What: New Mexico Lobos vs. San Diego State Aztecs

When: Tuesday February 11th, 2020 at 9 p.m. Mountain

Where: Viejas Arena in San Diego, CA

Coverage: The game will be televised on ESPN2. The UNM Sports Radio Network will have the call on the airwaves (770 AM/96.3 FM KKOB in Albuquerque).

Series: This will be the 90th meeting between the two with New Mexico owning a 48-41 edge in the standings. The last time out San Diego State dispatched the Lobos, 85-57, in The Pit.

Breakdown:

The New Mexico Lobos will hope that this one is a little closer the second time around as they travel to play the #4 San Diego State Aztecs in San Diego on Tuesday night. The Lobos are coming off a 97-68 win over Wyoming this past Saturday to get to 17-8 overall and 6-6 in the Mountain West Conference.

San Diego State upped its record to 24-0 on Saturday, defeating the Air Force Falcons on the road, 89-74. The win also bolstered SDSU’s MWC record to 13-0.

What’s at stake:

With a win the Aztecs not only keep their hopes for a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament alive, but they will also clinch at least a share of the MWC regular season championship. They will win it outright if Utah State beats Colorado State on Tuesday.

The Lobos will not only stun the nation with a win but being just two games behind Colorado State for second place in the conference, it would also keep them alive for the coveted two seed in the MWC Tournament in a couple weeks.

Who to watch from San Diego State:

San Diego State spread the scoring around well when these two played earlier this season. All five starters for the Aztecs scored in double figures.

Malachi Flynn has been their most productive player all season. He had just 12 points in the previous matchup with UNM and had 18 points in the win over Air Force on Saturday. He leads the way but is not afraid to help his teammates out.

The one player who has been on fire of late for the Aztecs is KJ Feagin. Feagin had only scored in double figures five times in SDSU’s first 21 games, he has had three straight games of double figures now heading into this contest. Feagin also had 18 points against the Lobos earlier this season.

X-factor for the Lobos:

For yet another game I think the offense will roll through Zane Martin. It helps to have JaQuan Lyle and Vance Jackson back in the lineup, but Martin has made the offense tick since JJ Caldwell was suspended. Martin showed that having Lyle and Jackson around him is a plus to his game, as against Wyoming he scored 23 points and dished out five assists. His play set up Jackson well, who scored 20 points, and Corey Manigault, who had 28 points and nine rebounds. With Martin running the show, and with Jackson and Lyle back, it will be different this time around against San Diego State.

Prediction:

While I don’t think it’ll be a blowout the way it was when these two teams met earlier this season, it is hard to think that the Lobos can get it done against SDSU on the road. Having Jackson and Lyle back will make a big difference. The question will be will it be enough to overcome a San Diego State offense that keeps steam rolling through opponents. This Lobo team is loaded with talent, but I don’t know if they’re to the level of San Diego State’s talent and depth. I expect this game to be closer than the pundits think. I like Aztecs-83 Lobos-74.