What: New Mexico Lobos vs. Wyoming Cowboys
When: Saturday February 8th, 2020 at 4 p.m. Mountain
Where: DreamStyle Arena a.k.a. The Pit in Albuquerque, NM
Coverage: Game will be streamed on Facebook via Stadium. UNM Sports Radio Network will have the radio call (770 AM/96.3 FM KKOB in Albuquerque).
Series: The Lobos lead the series at 74-69. New Mexico won the last time these two met, 79-65, in Laramie back in December.
The New Mexico Lobos will look to turn the corner and get back on track when they host the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday evening at The Pit. The Lobos are 16-8 overall and 5-6 in the Mountain West but have lost three games in a row and five of their last six. The Cowboys, meanwhile, sit at 6-18 overall and 1-11 in the MWC and have lost nine of their previous 10 games, with the only win coming over San Jose State two contests ago.
Getting depth back:
JaQuan Lyle is set to return for the Lobos after sitting out two games due to injury and two more due to suspension. The Lobos are 1-3 without Lyle in the lineup. His return should help out a team that had just seven scholarship players for the last four games.
Vance Jackson is questionable for this evening’s game but should return soon to give some more help to a depleted Lobos team.
Just what the doctor ordered:
No offense to the Wyoming Cowboys, but the Lobos should be able to get this one done. And it might be just what they need after a promising season has gone sour over the last month. The Lobos are at home and Wyoming is just 6-18 on the season. A win here, plus getting Lyle and Jackson back, could propel the Lobos down the stretch of the season for a good finish.
Who to watch for from Wyoming:
The Cowboys have one centralized threat, and that is Hunter Maldonado. He is averaging 16.8 points per game and had 27 points in the game against the Lobos earlier this season.
Beyond Maldonado it gets a little thin. Jake Hendricks has times when he explodes for 20 points, as he did against San Diego State, and then there are times when he disappears, like him scoring no points at all as he did against UNM earlier this season.
X-factor for the Lobos:
JaQuan might be a little rusty in this contest. The onus might once again fall on Zane Martin to create for his teammates, including Lyle. Martin has had some big games in the absence of Lyle and Jackson and will look to carry the momentum into this one. He has scored in double-figures in six of the last seven games.
Given the situation at hand, with the Lobos being at home, Lyle back in the lineup, and Wyoming being as bad as they are, it’s hard to not bet on the Lobos. And I won’t. I think this one will be a big win for UNM and something that might propel them to a good February and to get them ready for March. Expect the Lobos big in this one. I got Lobos-85 Wyoming-67.