clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Lobo Pack: Wyoming Series Preview

There’s a series to be played....hopefully

NCAA Basketball: New Mexico at Fresno State Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports

What:

New Mexico Lobos vs. Wyoming Cowboys

When:

Game 1: Wednesday February 17th, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. MT

Game 2: Friday February 19th, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. MT

Where:

Clune Arena (Air Force Falcons home) in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Coverage:

Game 1 will be streamed on The Mountain West Network. Themw.com

Game 2 will be on CBS Sports Network on Friday evening.

Both games will be covered on the radio on the Lobo Sports Radio Network, the Lobo Sports App, 770 AM/96.3 FM KKOB in Albuquerque.

Series:

This will be the 144th and 145th times the two have met on the basketball court. The Lobos have played the Cowboys more than anyone else in their history.

New Mexico owns a 75-68 record over Wyoming. The Lobos have won the last three against Wyoming and 17 of the last 21.

Breakdown:

Well, hopefully this time there will be a series. The last two series for New Mexico have been called off due to COVID-19 issues and not enough scholarship players to available to play.

The series with Colorado State was called off with less than 30 minutes to go until tip off. That series will be made up. The Lobos series with San Diego State is still to be determined.

Wyoming comes into the series with a record of 10-9 and 4-8 in the Mountain West Conference. The Cowboys have lost four contests in a row, most recently losing to Colorado State, with their second contest coming on February 6th. Wyoming had their series against Utah State postponed due to COVID-19 issues. The Cowboys last win came back on January 24th when they beat Nevada, 93-88.

New Mexico hasn’t played since January 30th, which was a 65-55 loss to Fresno State. The Lobos come into the series with a 5-11 record overall and 1-11 in the MWC, good enough for dead last still.

What to expect from Wyoming:

The Cowboys have three players that average in double figures in scoring, two of them starters. Leading the way is freshman Marcus Williams averaging 16 points per game.

Williams is capable of dominating performances, he had 28 points in a win earlier this season over Nevada. However, when defenses key in on him, he can struggle. He fouled out in just 23 minutes last time the Cowboys played, in a game against Colorado State, and he scored just eight points.

Hunter Maldonado is the other starter that averages double figures in points. He sits at 12.2 per game but is in a stretch where he is struggling to break 10 points. He has done so only once in the last six games. Prior to that he had scored 10 or more points in 12 of 13 games, including 30 against Utah Valley.

Kenny Foster, a reserve, is averaging 10.4 points off the bench. Foster had 11 points in Wyoming’s last contest and has a season high of 21 back in their season opener against Incarnate-Word.

The Cowboys love to shoot the three, something UNM has had difficulty guarding against. Wyoming gets 39% of their scoring from beyond the arc, which ranks 23rd in the country. They will definitely try to bomb out against the Lobos.

What to expect from New Mexico:

For the Lobos, the question remains who will play? It has been 18 days since UNM has seen the court for game action, and in that time, they have canceled or postponed four games, had speculation whether the rest of the season was going to be played and had many injuries.

Rod Brown, who was injured against Fresno State, did see some practice time in the last week. As has Isaiah Marin, who has an eye injury. Saquan Singleton was also injured and expected to miss the series against San Diego State and Colorado State, but he too has returned to practice. However, that doesn’t exactly mean they will play, or if they do, for how long?

The Lobos will need to rebound and get Wyoming’s top players into foul trouble if they want to have a shot to win in this series. Might also help if Wyoming missed some three-point shots.

Prediction:

As I had written in the preview of the Colorado State series, which was abruptly postponed right before game one, it is really hard to evaluate where the Lobo team stands. As I stated above, it has been 18 days since UNM has been in game action, and even then, they looked terrible in a loss against Fresno State.

It has been a long, tough season for the basketball team, and I’m not sure exactly how this layoff has helped, perhaps it has allowed for some much-needed rest, but the big questions will be answered on Wednesday, and that is if this team is in it still mentally. I think they keep it close in these two contests, but the inability to defend the three will come back to bite the Lobos.

Game 1: Wyoming-73 Lobos-68

Game 2: Wyoming-66 Lobos-60