Winners of three straight—including, most recently, its conference opener against Air Force—the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team will travel to Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack in its second Mountain West game this season.
Most recently for the Lobos (6-8, 1-0 MW) was a win over the Falcons, beating them decisively, 87-58, at home. In that game, UNM saw scoring from a wide variety of players—including all of its bench.
Leading the way in that game was junior guard Jachai Simmons, who had a game-high 15 points off of the bench. He put on a show, creating highlight reel dunks, while also, nailing back-to-back 3s.
He wasn’t the only Lobo to average a double digit scoring performance. For the third straight game, senior forward Joe Furstinger posted a double-double, scoring 12 points while also bringing down 12 rebounds. Senior guards Sam Logwood and Antino Jackson had 10 points each off of the bench, and junior guard Dane Kuiper had 13 points.
The Lobos ended up shooting 50 percent from the field against Air Force for the game, despite struggling to make shots in the first half, especially early in the matchup.
As a team this season, UNM has shot 42.4 percent from the field, while allowing its opponents to hit 46 percent of their shots.
The Wolf Pack are coming off a conference opening win on the road at Fresno State—a game they won by 15 points, 80-65, behind the help of senior guard Kendall Stephen’s 19 points.
In Nevada (12-3, 1-0 MW), the Lobos will face a team that is making 48.8 percent of its attempts. And they pose a lot of scorers, too.
Junior forward Caleb Martin is leading his team at 18.7 points per game, which is tied for second in the Mountain West. Junior guard Jordan Caroline is averaging 16.7 points per game, while Caleb Martin’s twin, Cody Martin—also a junior forward—is averaging 13.5 points per game.
Though the team has shown improvement, one weakness for the team has been rebounding the basketball. The team roster has often lacked size compared to its opponent, which has been a major factor in the deficiency. As a team, they are bringing down 34.4 rebounds per game, but they are letting their opponents outrebound them by five rebounds per game.
On the other hand, Nevada is averaging 36.4 rebounds per game, while also outrebounding its opponent by nearly three more boards per game.
At home, the Wolf Pack are a perfect 6-0, while UNM is 0-3 on the road. In the history between the two teams, the Lobos hold a 6-4 advantage over them. Nevada has, however, won the last three meetings between the two teams.
Tip-off for the game is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30. The game will be broadcasted live on AT&T Sportsnet.
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.