The Mountain West Conference announced last week that the upcoming University of New Mexico’s women’s basketball series against both Colorado State and Wyoming would be postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test within UNM’s program.
According to two separate press releases by the MWC, “The rescheduled date will be announced once finalized by the Mountain West and both institutions.”
The Lobos received the positive test result in the early morning of Feb. 12 and immediately notified both Colorado State and MWC officials. After discussions between both schools, medical teams and Colorado health officials, the recommendation was made to cancel the game between CSU and UNM.
“It went from our doctors, to a medical advisory team of some sort with the university and then from there it ultimately got pushed over to the county. Then the county came back with its recommendations,” UNM Athletics director Eddie Nuñez said.
Nuñez confirmed in a press conference that the positive case within the women’s program was a student-athlete.
“(They’re) at the hotel in quarantine and isolation,” Nuñez said.
As a result of the positive test, UNM will be ramping up their testing measures in order to prevent an outbreak within the program. These measures include testing the remaining members of the team multiple times before resuming group activities.
“What we’re trying to do today is basically as I said: manage everybody, make sure our doctors are talking to them, making sure everybody’s OK,” Nuñez said. “Tomorrow morning (Saturday) we will re-test them — if it’s another negative test for everybody else, that gives us some positives.”
The postponement of the two series has thrown the remaining schedule of these three teams into chaos.
For Wyoming, the Lobos were supposed to be the opponents in their season finale, but after the postponement of these games and no reschedule date announced as of the publication of this article, the Cowgirls could likely enter the MWC tournament without having played a game in three weeks.
As for the series against Colorado State, head coach Ryun Williams said he isn’t planning for his team to play any late schedule games before the conference tournament.
With CSU’s season finale taking place on March 1 and the MWC tournament beginning on March 7, it’s highly unlikely that the games against UNM will be rescheduled, according to Nuñez.
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"It's just a bummer, but in a year like this, you learn to be flexible,” CSU head coach Williams said. “And our kids, they've been flexible all year with a lot of different things.”
Gino Gutierrez contributed reporting to this article.
Jesus Mata is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @JesusMataJr99