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Howling With The Lobos: UNLV Preview

Lobos seeking revenge

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 11 New Mexico at San Diego State Photo by Alan Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What: New Mexico Lobos vs. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

When: Saturday February 15th, 2020 at 4 p.m. Mountain

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

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

Series: UNLV leads the all-time series with a 36-25 record. They also won the last meeting between these two schools, a 99-78 win in Las Vegas back in January.

Breakdown:

The New Mexico Lobos will be seeking some revenge when they host the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels on Saturday evening in The Pit. The Rebels pulled away in the 2nd half earlier this season to win 99-78 in Las Vegas.

In the six games since then the Lobos have gone 2-4 and are 17-9 overall and are 6-7 on the Mountain West Conference. Since that game UNLV is 1-5 and have dropped to 13-14 overall and 7-6 in the MWC.

UNLV lost to Nevada last game out, 82-79 in Vegas. While the Lobos were blown out yet again by San Diego State, 82-59 in San Diego.

Huge Game From Seeding Standpoint:

As we hit the stretch run of the regular season, this contest is actually pretty big when it comes to seeding for the MWC Tournament in a couple weeks. The winner of this game will take over sixth place in conference and will stay within two games of first place with five games to play. Which is huge because the bottom six teams have to play on day one while everyone else has that day off. That will be critical if either one want to challenge for the tourney crown.

Who To Watch For From UNLV:

In the first matchup Bryce Hamilton killed the Lobos with 35 points. Most coming from easy layups as the Lobos wore out in the second half. He is still on a tear in the six games since, scoring over 15 points in each one, including 23 points in their last game against Nevada.

Amauri Hardy had a solid game against the Lobos last time out, scoring 12 points and dishing out six assists. He has been on a roll too, scoring in double figures over the last three games, with 14 against Nevada.

X-Factor For The Lobos:

Corey Manigault has been solid over the last couple of games for the Lobos, and he needs to continue it in this one. If the Lobos can get an inside presence it will help open up the outside for guards Vance Jackson and JaQuan Lyle. It will also force the Rebels to try to collapse on Manigault which might lead to more free throws, which was a key in many Lobo wins earlier this season.

Prediction:

Both teams are in a free fall somewhat right now. UNLV is one point away from being 0-6 since beating the Lobos last time out. UNM isn’t any better, sitting at 2-4 in the last six. The two wins have been dominating wins at The Pit, and I got to believe this one will be no different. Hamilton will have a big night again for UNLV, but I think things will be different this time with the Lobos having depth. I like the Lobos-88 UNLV-74.