Colorado State Rams vs. New Mexico Lobos
University Arena (The Pit) in Albuquerque, NM
Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at 7:00 pm Mountain Time
The game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network. On the radio waves it will be carried on the Lobo Sports Radio Network, 96.3 FM/770 AM in Albuquerque.
This is the 129th meeting on the hardwood. The Lobos have the series edge at 77-51, including 50-13 in Albuquerque. The Rams have won four in a row in this matchup, including an 83-68 win over UNM in the last meeting.
The New Mexico Lobos will open up Mountain West Conference play on Wednesday night when they host the Colorado State Rams in The Pit.
The Lobos come into the contest one of three undefeated teams remaining in the country and also ranked number 22 in the latest Associated Press poll.
New Mexico defeated Prairie View A&M last game out, eight days ago, by a final of 94-63.
The Rams come into the game with an 8-5 record on the season. This is their MWC opener as well.
Last game out for CSU was a 73-64 loss at the hands of the USC Trojans.
The Lobos are ranked for the first time since the 2013-14 season, when they finished 17th in the country. New Mexico has also won 11 straight at The Pit, their longest since the 2019-20 season when they had won 15 consecutive games at home.
What to watch for:
Colorado State is led by what could be the best player in the conference in Isaiah Stevens. The 6-foot guard has only seen action in six games this season after suffering a foot injury in preseason camp.
Nonetheless, Stevens has come back with a vengeance, averaging 18.3 points and 5.8 assists per game. Stevens went for 16 points and 12 points in the two contests last season against UNM. He will be the player to watch for the Rams.
The Rams tout three other players that score in double-figures in points. John Tonje averages 14.2 points per game, while Patrick Cartier averages 11.9 and Isaiah Rivera averages 10.9 points per game.
The game features an excellent perimeter matchup. The duo of Stevens and Tonje going up against Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House.
Mashburn has scored in double figures in 33 straight games, while House leads the MWC in assists and also boasts a 16.4 points per game average.
The ability to slow Stevens and Tonje, while continuing their outstanding play this season will be huge for House and Mashburn and will more than likely decide who will come out on top of this game.
Final Thoughts and Prediction:
The Rams have the fire power back in the lineup with Stevens. However, the Lobos seem to have more of a frontcourt than does CSU. That could prove vital to go along with the outside play of Mashburn and House.
Colorado State was outrebounded 38-26 by USC, who go with a three-guard lineup, much like the Lobos. New Mexico’s Morris Udeze and Josiah Allick play a lot more physical underneath and give the Lobos the edge in this one with their backcourt teammates. I like the Lobos to break the streak, winning 79-72.