The University of New Mexico Lobos (5-8) will host the Air Force Falcons (6-6) on Wednesday night at Dreamstyle Arena, The Pit, in the the first game of Mountain West play for both schools.
The Falcons are lead by coach Dave Pilipovich, who is in his sixth season at the Academy. Air Force is coming off of a 111-68 victory over Johnson & Wales at home and shared one opponent with the Lobos in non-conference play in Colorado. They suffered a similar fate in Boulder, as both teams lost to the Buffaloes.
AFA averages 69.2 points per game offensively, and the Lobos’ defense, which gives up 76.8 points per game, will need to hold the Falcons to their average in order for the Lobos to be able to secure a victory. The Air Force defense should be a strong test for a New Mexico offense that averages 80.4 points per game, as Air Force only gives up an average of 68.6 points per game — something the Lobos will be looking to increase by a few points.
AFA is led offensively by junior Ryan Manning (11.4 ppg), sophomore Lavelle Scottie (10.3 ppg) and senior Trevor Lyons (9.7 ppg). Earlier this season, the Falcons defeated Denver on the road to end a 22-game road losing streak that dated to December of 2015, the Falcons’ last road conference win came on Jan. 28, 2015 against San Jose State.
The Lobos are riding a two-game winning streak coming into conference play, and the final game of non-conference play was a big showing for newcomer Antino Jackson, who scored 17 points in 19 minutes, his best game in a Lobo uniform since a 19-point performance against Nebraska-Omaha.
The game will begin at 7:05 p.m. and will be broadcast live on AT&T Sportsnet, formerly Root Sports.
Cameron Goeldner is a freelance sports reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @goeldfinger.