The New Mexico men's basketball team throttled its opponent in the season opener and will look for a second-straight win to begin the season against Omaha.
New Mexico (1-0, 0-0 MW) surged past Northern New Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 10, steam-rolling its way to a 147-76 triumph over the Eagles. Eight different Lobos scored in double figures as first-year Lobo head coach Paul Weir showed his willingness to implement a deep rotation.
The head coach said each player was recruited to play a role on the team and it is essential to develop the young players throughout the season.
UNM junior guard Chris McNeal led the way for the Lobos with a double-double, scoring 24 points and dishing out 10 assists in the romp over Northern New Mexico.
The Omaha (0-2, 0-0 Summit League) has gotten off to a rough start, losing its opener to Montana State and getting handled by Oklahoma 108-89 on Sunday, Nov 12.
Tuesday's match-up between New Mexico and Omaha will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools, but both will likely be eager to pick up some momentum in the young season.
New Mexico had a down year last season, but still seemed to handle business inside the confines of "The Pit," posting an 11-4 record when playing on its home court.
If the Lobos are able to pull off the victory, it will be the sixth consecutive season in which the team began 2-0 to start things off.
But the Mavericks will probably be a much stronger test that the one a few days ago against Northern New Mexico. Omaha has four players who have averaged double-figure in scoring so far this season.
Senior guard Daniel Norl has led the charge for the Mavericks, scoring an even 20.0 points per game and also leads the team in rebounding, pulling down 7.5 boards per contest. Fellow guards Zach Jackson and JT Gibson have posted scoring averages of 18.0 and 10.5, respectively.
Mitch Hahn, a 6-8 forward who has averaged 12.5 points, could be a handful down on the blocks, especially with Lobo forward Connor MacDougall expected to miss his second game after suffering a foot injury during an exhibition match against BYU.
The Lobos did a solid job rebounding the basketball during Saturday's blowout win, holding a 45-30 edge on the boards. Oklahoma outworked the Mavericks, cleaning up 15 more rebounds to help propel the Sooners to victory.
New Mexico could do itself a big favor by trying to gain the advantage on the glass again on Tuesday.
The game has a scheduled tip-off of 7 p.m. at Dreamstyle Arena—also known as "The Pit"—and will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network.
Robert Maler is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers basketball, football and tennis. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Robert_Maler.