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Lobo Pack Basketball: UTEP Preview

Rivalry renewed

Denver v New Mexico Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

What:

New Mexico Lobos vs. UTEP Miners

When:

Sunday, December 12th, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time

Where:

University Arena, The Pit, in Albuquerque, NM

Coverage:

The game will be streamed on Stadium. On the radio waves it will be carried on the UNM Sports Radio Network. Flagship station is 770 AM/96.3 FM in Albuquerque.

Series:

New Mexico leads the series with a 78-68 record. The last time these two rivals met was back in November of 2019 with UTEP getting a 66-63 win in El Paso.

Breakdown:

The New Mexico Lobos will look to make it two in a row, both on the season and at The Pit, when they host the UTEP Miners on Sunday in a renewal of one of the older rivalries in UNM’s history.

The Lobos are coming off an 87-67 win over Denver on Thursday night. That win has the Lobos sitting at 6-4 on the season.

A win today by UNM would surpass last season’s win total of six, barely 11 games into the new season.

UTEP comes into this contest with a 4-4 record on the season. Their last game was against the Kansas Jayhawks which the Miners lost 78-52.

What to expect from UTEP:

The Miners are led by Souly Boum, a 6-foot-3 junior forward that is averaging 19.8 points per game.

Boum has only played in five contests this season, but he has made his presence known in all of them.

Scoring at least 10 points in every game he has played, Boum will draw a lot of attention as he usually loves the dribble drive. He played the entire 40-minutes against Kansas and came away with 18 points.

The Miners will be without their second leading scorer in this one as Jamal Bieniemy left the contest against Kansas after colliding with teammate Kevin Kalu.

With the absence of Bieniemy, Boum wil attempt to take more shots. Boum will also look for Keonte Kennedy in this one. Kennedy ended with 11 points against Kansas, and has scored 9 or more points in each of the last three games.

What to expect from the Lobos:

The Lobos had quiet nights from their two leading scorers in Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House on Thursday against Denver. They were not needed as KJ Jenkins picked up the slack with 21 points in the win.

With Bieniemy out for UTEP, it would be huge if House and Mashburn got back to their high scoring ways in this one. Expect the ball to get to House and Mashburn early and often in this one.

KJ Jenkins proved to be an asset off the bench against Denver. It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see Jenkins on the floor a lot today to see if he can continue his hot streak.

Final Thoughts and Prediction:

The Miners were already fighting an uphill battle with Bieniemy in the lineup. With him out it doesn’t feel as though the Miners will have enough fire power to keep up with the Lobos.

I think Mashburn and House get back to their scoring ways and the Lobos collect the win in this one. I like Lobos-85 Miners-72.