Different game, same story. The New Mexico Lobos fell to the Nevada Wolf Pack, 68-54, on Thursday night.
The Lobos shot themselves in the foot often in this one. In yet another game, something that has become the norm under Paul Weir, the Lobos shot horrible from the free throw line and turned the ball over an obscene number of times.
New Mexico went 15-of-35 from the free throw line. Missing 20 free throws was the most glaring stat of the night, especially in a game that UNM lost by 14.
The amount of missed free throws coupled with 16 turnovers, shows New Mexico what needs to be fixed before Saturday’s contest with the Pack. The problem is one day is not long enough to fix those issues.
The loss drops UNM to 3-3 overall and 0-3 in Mountain West Conference play. They will have a chance to redeem themselves with the two getting back together on Saturday night.
However, the Pack also struggled in this one, which isn’t a good sign for UNM.
Nevada shot 38.5% from the field and hit just 4-of-18 three-point shots. Those, along with 15 Wolf Pack turnovers, meant that a 14-point Pack win could’ve been worse.
The Lobos outrebounded the Wolf Pack 45-to-42, including 18-to-10 on offensive rebounds. Both of which was something they struggled with in the series versus Boise State. If the Lobos can win the rebounding battle, that will help keep them in games with many of the MWC teams this season. Second chance points will help propel the Lobos in the future as well.
Makuach Maluach hit double figures again in points. While that is always nice to have your top player hit his stride, he cannot be the only one, or one of two that show up for UNM on a given night. Rod Brown was the only other Lobo in double digits with points, that has to change for Saturday.
As stated above, the Lobos and Wolf Pack will tangle again on Saturday night. That game will be at 8:00 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network.
The Lobos might be 0-3 in MWC play, but there is still 17 games to play to make up the deficit that they have dug themselves early in conference play.