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Lobo Pack: Dixie State Preview

Lobos look to end skid

NCAA Basketball: New Mexico at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What:

New Mexico Lobos vs. Dixie State Trailblazers

When:

Wednesday January 13th, 2021 at 7 p.m. MT.

Where:

Burns Arena in St. George, Utah. Dixie State’s home arena.

Coverage:

Game will be streamed online at https://www.wacdigitalnetwork.com/dixiestate/. Radio coverage will be on the Lobo Sports Radio Network, Lobo Sports App, and 96.3 FM/770 AM KKOB in Albuquerque.

Series:

This is the very first matchup between the two schools.

Breakdown:

The New Mexico Lobos will look to break their six-game losing streak when they pay the Dixie State Trailblazers a visit on Wednesday night.

This game was added earlier this week to the schedule, as UNM relocates to St. George for the next couple of weeks to practice and play some games.

Aside from taking on the Trailblazers, the Lobos will also play host to San Jose State in St. George on January 21st and 23rd.

What to expect from Dixie State:

The Trailblazers come into this game with a record of 4-2 on the season. DSU has not played since December 29th, however, as they have had their last three contests canceled due to COVID-19.

Dixie State is really efficient, and always looking for the open shot instead of relying on three-pointers, or an inside game. Because of this they have two players that average both 13.5 and 13.0 points per game, respectively.

Cameron Gooden is the player that averages 13.5 points per game on the season. He had 20 points in DSU’s last game, which was against Gonzaga. Gooden also scored 23 points in a win over Denver earlier this season.

Jacob Nicolds is the player that averages 13.0 points per game on the season. He is on a hot streak too, scoring 11 or more points in five of the six games this season.

The Lobos need to key on Gooden and Nicolds if they expect to break this losing skid.

New Mexico gets a little thin:

News came down Wednesday afternoon that Keith McGee has opted out of the rest of the season. McGee had seen action in eight games this season and was averaging 5.9 points per game.

In a statement, McGee said, “What our team has experienced this year has had a major impact on my mental and physical well-being. My health and safety is more important than the game I love right now.”

X-Factor for the Lobos:

The leader of the Lobos, Makuach Maluach, will be the one that needs to set the tone tonight. The Lobos aren’t in a good mental state, having had to relocate out of state and now move from Texas to Utah.

Those things, coupled with a six-game losing streak, has this team in a fragile state of mind right now. Maluach has a chance to lead them back to their winning ways tonight.

Prediction:

The Lobos have struggled this season, to say the least. The team’s state of mind is really down in the dumps right now, but this should help. The Lobos should get out to an early lead and be able to hold it. But, given the circumstances, anything is possible.

I expect the Maluach to lead the way, and the Lobos to win a close one. I got Lobos-83 Dixie State-77.