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Lobo Pack Basketball: UAB Preview

Thanksgiving Hoops

Montana State v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

What:

New Mexico Lobos vs. UAB Blazers

When:

Thursday November 25th, at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time

Where:

Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV, part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational

Coverage:

The game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 and on the airwaves the Lobo Sports Radio Network will carry the game.

Series:

This is the second time these two have met. The first matchup was in 2013 and New Mexico won 97-94,

Breakdown:

The New Mexico Lobos will look to extend their winning streak as they take on the UAB Blazers in the semifinals of the Las Vegas Invitational on Thanksgiving Day.

New Mexico comes into the game with a 4-1 record on the season, having won their previous three games.

Last game out, New Mexico dominated Western New Mexico on Monday and won by a final of 88-63.

UAB enters the contest also with a record of 4-1 on the season. The Blazers’ loss on the season was a 66-63 one to South Carolina.

Last game out for UAB was an 86-41 win over Alabama A&M on Sunday.

What the Lobos will look to do:

Head coach Richard Pitino said that both Jaelen House and Saquan Singleton will play in the contest.

House missed the Western New Mexico contest after suffering an ankle injury against Montana State, while Singleton has yet to play this season due to a heart issue that stemmed from his battle with COVID-19 during the summer months.

House averages 19.5 points per game, tops for the Lobos, while Singleton averaged 8.0 points per game last season while seeing action in all 22 games for UNM.

With House back expect the Lobos to run and run and run some more. House and Jamal Mashburn Jr. have been the ones who have carried the Lobos this season, and that should not change in this contest.

More than likely Singleton will be on a minute’s count and will more than likely be rusty. But to have Singleton back will definitely be beneficial for UNM.

What the Blazers will look to do:

UAB has a very stingy defense and have forced at least 16 turnovers in all of their contests this season.

The reliant on turnovers leads to quick transition baskets for the Blazers along with frustration fouls from their opposition that also leads to a ton of free throws. The Lobos will need to be crisp on offense in order to stick with the Blazers.

UAB is led by Jordan Walker who is averaging 17 points per game on the season. Walker scored 11 points and dished out eight assists in the win over Alabama A&M.

The main big-time defender for UAB is Michael Ertel, who is averaging 3.2 steals per game. Ertel also averages 12 points per game to go along with his defensive prowess.

Prediction:

This one will be another test for the Lobos, much like the game against Colorado was.

It is good to get House back and Singleton into the lineup. Both will come in handy in many games this season.

This one might be a sloppy one on both sides as the Lobos guards are quick and can force some turnovers as well. Right now, I just feel UAB might be a tad better because of their top-notch defense.

I’ll take Blazers-80 Lobos-72.