Wyoming vs. New Mexico Preview

Wyoming vs. New Mexico Preview

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Can the Lobos win in Laramie?

Game: New Mexico Lobos vs Wyoming Cowboys

Date: Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Location: Arena Auditorium in Laramie, WY

TV: Watch on the Mountain West Network

The Wyoming Cowboys (12-10, 5-4 MWC) aim to extend their five-game home winning streak as they host the New Mexico Lobos (18-4, 6-3 MWC) on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. 

The No. 25 New Mexico men’s basketball team returns to action Tuesday with a visit to Wyoming. Game time in Laramie is 6:30 p.m. 

The game will air on the Mountain West Network and the Lobo Radio Network in what promises to be an exciting game between very well-coached teams.  

The Lobos and the Pokes will face off at 7,200 feet above sea level, setting the stage for a competitive matchup featuring two distinct offensive styles.

The Lobos are 18-4 this season, 6-3 in the Mountain West, and are ranked nationally for the third straight week, their longest stretch since the end of the 2013-14 season.

Richard Pitinos Lobos went from 19th to 25th (after last week’s Boise State loss)  in the AP Top  25 ranking and are listed as 18th in the NCAA NET ranking. 

According to most computer predictions, the anticipated outcome leans heavily towards a lopsided 82-69 victory for New Mexico.

There is no denying that this year’s Lobos team is one of the most talented teams to wear the Cherry and Silver for New Mexico. 

With a 12-10 overall record and a 5-4 standing in the Mountain West, Wyoming remains undefeated at home (4-0) in conference play this season. 

The Cowboys recently experienced a split outcome during a road trip last week, securing a victory at Air Force but facing defeat at the hands of UNLV. 

Notably, in their most recent home game, Wyoming displayed resilience by overcoming an 11-point deficit in the final minute to defeat No. 24 Colorado State in overtime ultimately.

Richard Pitinos Lobos defeated Wyoming 77-60 in January, with Donovan Dent scoring 21 points in that game. Dent is a big matchup problem for the Pokes. 

The Lobos had its five-game win streak snapped to Boise State 86-78 in Albuquerque at the PIT, breaking UNM’s win streak at the PIT of 11. 

With victories in four of the last five meetings, including their initial face-off this season, New Mexico aims to prolong its success against Wyoming. 

The first clash occurred on January 6 at The Pit, where the Lobos claimed a decisive 77-60 triumph, led by Donovan Dent’s stellar performance with 21 points.

 New Mexico is coming off an 86-78 loss to Boise State last week in The Pit, which snapped its five-game win streak. Donovan Dent scored a career-high 31 points against the Broncos.

Despite the loss, Donovan Dent was unstoppable on the Lobo side with 31 points, and Max Rice scored a career-high 35 for the Broncos. 

Jamal Mashburn, Jr. scored 14 points, and Jaelen House added 12 points, while JT Toppin just missed a double-double with eight points and 15 rebounds to go with four blocks.

The Lobos did not look very energetic in this late-night TV game versus the Boise State Broncos, who looked very energized, so look for that to change against the Pokes. 

If the Lobos can play their style of basketball, getting up and down the court in tempo, this would be disastrous for the Cowboys. 

“Credit to Boise State. I thought they played terrific and Max Rice continues to hurt us. They just played with such a great motor on the glass.

 We were not able to turn them over, which has really helped us, and we didn’t get the steals that we’ve been getting. 

We didn’t hit shots at the end. They made more plays in the end than we did so that we will learn from it. We got a little break now to get ready for Wyoming.” – Richard Pitino

So look for Wyoming head coach Jeff Linder to try to slow the game down in more of a half-court; it’s a very deliberate game. 

Wyoming holds a 9-12-0 record against the spread this season, while New Mexico boasts a 15-6-0 ATS record. 

Among the Cowboys’ games this season, 12 have exceeded the point total, and the Lobos have seen 11 of their games surpass the total points.

 In their last ten matchups, Wyoming is 4-6 against the spread and 5-5 overall. New Mexico has a 7-3 record against the spread and a 7-3 overall performance.

In their most recent matchup against Boise State, the New Mexico Lobos, they faced a setback, losing by a score of 86-78. During the game, the Lobos managed a 40.9% field goal percentage (27 of 66) and converted 7 out of 25 three-point attempts. 

Despite the Lobos shooting at a low percentage and not performing well, the fact that they only lost by eight points highlights the potential strength of this team. 

When operating at their best, particularly in an up-tempo style with excellent defense, they become a formidable force.

 Key scoring contributors to scoring include Jamal Mashburn, Jaelen House, Donovan Dent, and JT Toppin.

The Lobos bigs need a big defensive game out of both 6-10 Nelly Junion Joseph and freshman 6-8 JT Toppin. 

JT Toppin leads the Lobos in rebounding with 8.5 per game, 12.8 points, and .6 assists, while Nelly Junion Josopeh averages 9 points per game and 7.5 rebounds with 1.1 assists per game. 

They achieved an 89.5% success rate at the free-throw line, making 17 of 19 attempts. Securing 31 rebounds, with ten on the offensive end, the Lobos also recorded nine assists, ten turnovers forced, and four steals. 

On the defensive side, they allowed Boise State to shoot at a 48.5% accuracy from the field.

Donovan Dent played a significant role in the game, scoring 31 points on 66.7% shooting with 12 out of 18 attempts. He contributed for 36 minutes, securing 1 rebound and providing two assists.

The New Mexico Lobos hold a season record of 18-4 as they approach the next game. They boast an average of 84.1 points per game, shooting at 47.9% from the field.

 The team also manages a 34.3% success rate from three-point range and 69.2% from the free-throw line.

 Rebounding at an average of 38.7 per game, they have totaled 341 assists for the season. However, turnovers occur at a rate of 10.2 per game, accompanied by an average of 18.3 fouls committed.

Defensively, the Lobos force an average of 15.9 turnovers per game and draw 18.5 fouls. They allow opponents to shoot at a 41.9% accuracy, conceding an average of 69.5 points per game. 

Additionally, the team permits a 30.9% success rate on three-point attempts.

Turning to the Wyoming Cowboys, they recently suffered a 62-48 loss to UNLV. In that game, Wyoming secured 38 rebounds (11 offensive), but struggled with 12 turnovers and no steals. 

Cam Manyawu contributed 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists in 19 minutes of play.

Wyoming holds a record for the season of 12-10, with an offensive shooting percentage of 45.4%. 

They average 73.1 points per game and grab 34.9 rebounds per contest. The team averages 11.7 assists and commits 14.1 turnovers per game.

 On the defensive end, they surrender a 32.9% three-point shooting rate and allow opponents to shoot 73.6% from the free-throw line. 

The Cowboys give up an average of 74.2 points per game, forcing 11.5 turnovers and allowing a 45.2% shooting accuracy from the field.

Look for the Pokes to try to slow the game down to a half-court game while the Lobos will push the temp in transition in what promises to be a very good game. 

I see this game as a bounce-back game for the Lobos after last week’s loss to Boise; way too much to play for. Lobos with the victory is my prediction.

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire