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Howling With The Lobos: Boise State Preview

Lobos looking to end losing skid

Nevada v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

What: New Mexico Lobos vs. Boise State Broncos

When: Sunday February 23rd, at 2 p.m. Mountain

Where: ExtraMile Arena in Boise, ID

Coverage: CBS Sports Network will televise the game. The UNM Sports Radio Network will have the radio call (770 AM/94.5 FM KKOB in Albuquerque, TuneIn App search KKOB).

Series: This is the 18th meeting between the two teams. Earlier this season the Lobos won in The Pit, 80-78, to give New Mexico a 12-5 series advantage.

Breakdown:

The New Mexico Lobos will look to break a three-game losing streak when they visit the Boise State Broncos on Sunday afternoon. The Lobos lost to Nevada last Tuesday in The Pit by a final of 88-74. That loss dropped them to 17-11 overall and 6-9 in the Mountain West Conference. The loss also ensured that the Lobos have to win four games in the MWC Tournament if they want to win the title.

Boise State is coming off an 80-62 win over San Jose State last Wednesday night. That win pushed Boise State’s record to 18-10 overall and 10-6 in the MWC. The win for the Broncos also kept alive their chances of finishing second in the Mountain West, which will be a better draw come conference tournament time.

Should We Expect A Close One:

Although many experts think that the Broncos will win easily, history has shown us otherwise. In the last eight times these two have squared off, six of those games have been decided by five points, or less, including the last three. Although the last time they faced each other in Boise the Broncos won by 28.

So, who knows what is going to happen, but don’t at all be surprised if this one is a close game.

Top Players From Boise State:

The Broncos rely on balanced scoring with four players scoring in double-figures.

Derrick Alston leads the way in the scoring category for BSU with 17.9 points per game. He had 20 points against UNM earlier this season, but only had 10 points against San Jose State.

Justinian Jessup averages 16.0 points per game. He had 24 against the Lobos earlier this season. He’s also gone for over 20 points in each of the Broncos’ last two games with 20 against San Jose State.

Abu Kigab, at 11.9 points per game, and RJ Williams, at 11.3 points per game, are the other two who average in double figures for the Broncos. Williams leads the team in rebounds per game at 8.1.

Lobos X-Factor:

The Lobos really need to work as a team in this one. Over the last 10 games, in which they are 2-8, the team seemingly begins to have tension within itself as things become more difficult. The tensions need to be eased within the team during timeouts in this one because the atmosphere and Boise State’s play will become frustrating for the Lobos. If the Lobos are able to keep their cool in this one, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a close game.

Prediction:

The Broncos have been steadily good all season at home, with a 14-3 home record, and the Lobos have struggled on the road this season, as well as over the last 10 contests. This is seemingly a nightmare matchup again for UNM on the road versus a talented Bronco squad. Until this team can get some semblance of actually being a team, I just don’t see this tailspin ending anytime soon. I got Boise State-84 Lobos-77.