After losing two straight, the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team will try to pick itself up and get a win against the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs in Niceville, Florida.
New Mexico (2-2, 0-0 MW) began the season by scoring over 100 points in each of its first two games—both wins. But followed it up with losses on the road to New Mexico State last Friday and a 104-96 defeat at home to Tennessee Tech on Tuesday.
The two teams have faced off several times before, with the most recent game coming on Feb. 25, 2012. The Horned Frogs won that meeting in Fort Worth, Texas by a score of 83-64.
Overall, though, the Lobos lead the series 16-6, while also adding a perfect 10-0 record at the Pit against them.
But this time, the schools will meet on a neutral court in Florida at the Emerald Coast Classic.
While the Lobos have fallen to .500, TCU has put together a perfect 4-0 record entering Friday’s contest.
The Horned Frogs face picked up wins over Omaha, South Dakota, Louisiana Monroe and Tennessee Tech.
Two of the schools—Tennessee Tech and Omaha—are opponents the Horned Frogs and Lobos share in common.
TCU blew out Tennessee Tech, 100-63 had another big win, 99-66 over Omaha. UNM struggles at times against both, though it was able to pull away in the second half for a 103-71 triumph.
Despite the recent setbacks, UNM still poses five scorers who are averaging in the double digits per game.
Junior Chris McNeal leads the way at 18 points per game, followed by senior forward Sam Logwood (15.3), junior guard Anthony Mathis (12.5), junior guard Troy Simons (11.5) and senior guard Antino Jackson (10.5).
With a combination of scorers for the Lobos, the team is shooting a healthy 48.4 percent from the field, while holding their opponents to 42.5 percent.
The Horned Frogs also has a versatile group of scorers. Senior forward Vladimir Brodziansky has averaged 17.8 points per contest, while sophomore guard Desmond Bane (15), junior forward JD Miller (11.3) and freshman forward Kouat Noi (10.8) round out the rest of the double-digit scorers.
TCU has shot the ball at an even higher clip of 52.7 percent from the field, while also going 41.6 percent from 3-point range as a unit.
The Lobos struggled to defend the 3-point line last game, giving up 12 shots from beyond the arc and plenty more open looks that didn't go down.
UNM has a slight edge in rebounding, bringing down 37.5 rebounds to TCU’s 37 per game, although the Lobos have struggled getting the defensive boards in their last two appearances.
Against NMSU, the Lobos were outrebounded 50-25 and outworked on the glass again, by a margin of 39-32, against Tennessee Tech.
Though rebounding hasn't been the Lobos’ forte with what is arguably an undersized roster, senior forward Joe Furstinger has been averaging six per contest, with Logwood close behind at 5.8 rebounds per game.
For TCU, meanwhile, senior guard Kenrich Williams leads his team with 8.0 rebounds per game, followed by Miller and Noi, who are both averaging 5.3 rebounds per game.
Friday's game could be pivotal for the Lobos and set the tone for what is to come, especially for the rest of the non-conference schedule.
Tip-off for Friday’s game is at 5 p.m. and can be viewed live on CBS Sports Network.
Matthew Narvaiz is a senior sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.