New Mexico host Denver after fiery game against NMSU
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After a tight and emotional game, New Mexico look to keep their cool against Denver
WHO: New Mexico Lobos (5-4, 0-0 MWC) vs. Denver Pioneers (3-7, 0-0 Summit)
WHEN: Thursday, December 9 – 7:00 p.m. MST
OR: The Pit – Albuquerque, New Mexico
DIFFUSION: The Mountain West network on the stadium
SERIES REGISTRATION: Tied, 21-21
LAST MATCH : Dec.12, 1970 – New Mexico won 86 – 78
CHANCES: New Mexico -14.0
BELOW : 144.5
Albuquerque, New Mexico – The New Mexico Lobos host the Denver Summit Pioneer Conference after a 78-76 overtime loss to their rival in New Mexico State. With several back-to-back big plays on both sides, the game ended on a sizable basket with the transfer from Washington Huskies Nate Pryor to the Aggies, making the game an instant classic in the long-running series of rivalries.
– NM MBB state (@NMStateMBB) December 7, 2021
And after enduring some payback-style rivalry antics, New Mexico will certainly be eager to get back in the winning column against the Denver Pioneers.
After such an emotional game, it might be easy to sideline the 3-7 Pioneers against a less than 300 schedule, but to their credit Denver hasn’t been blown away in any game. Even in their recent clashes against decent teams like Texas State and Wyoming, the Pioneers retained their biggest losing margin at 13 points, despite one of the worst defensive efficiencies nationally (322 by KenPom. com).
New Mexico are expected to compete well with the Pioneers, who will be (in height) one of the smallest teams New Mexico has faced to date, although like most teams the Lobos have faced, they have just a little more girth.
Still, New Mexico is expected to close this one out in front of the Pit crowd behind stars Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House, who account for 48% of the team’s offense behind the nation’s fourth-fastest pace.
Key Game – Jaelen House (18.8 points, 4.2 assists, 1.9 steals) vs. KJ Hunt (16.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists)
After a 21-point performance, House was only outscored by teammate Jamal Mashburn, who has been incredibly consistent for New Mexico. It’s already tough to keep Mashburn for any team, as evidenced by his 21.0 points per game and defense-ripping midrange jumper. But when House brings in the ball movement (and speed), New Mexico’s game takes on significant scale.
The Pioneers will need someone like Hunt to match the energy that House brings to have any chance to upset in Albuquerque.
New Mexico: Emmanuel Kuac (Questionable, knee)
Denver: no injuries