Many teams view conference play as marking the start of a new season—which could be a good thing since the Lobos will likely want to put their subpar start behind them. New Mexico (7-5) has been underwhelming so far this season during non-conference play, but has a chance for a new beginning when it faces Fresno State (8-4) Wednesday night. The Lobos have played well at times this season, but an injury to a key player and some streaky performances seem to have the team still searching for some answers.
The No.18 team in the nation overpowered and the Lobo men’s basketball team on both ends of the floor Tuesday night at the McKale Center. New Mexico (7-5) suffered a 77-46 loss to Arizona (11-2) in the team’s final non-conference game of the season, and it appears the Lobos have a lot to take care of before it hosts Fresno State in the Dec. 28 conference opener. In the days leading up to the game, UNM head coach Craig Neal said the Lobos needed to guard the ball well and create good scoring chances to have a chance to win. But there wasn’t much of either going on for the Lobos Tuesday night.
The Lobos took a 40-point victory against the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions on Saturday, but the competition will step up significantly as they face a nationally ranked opponent in Arizona. New Mexico (7-4) will travel to Tucson, Arizona to take on the University of Arizona Wildcats, a team that is ranked No. 18 in both the AP top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll. A release said the Lobos won the last meeting between the two schools. UNM took a 70-68, narrowly defeating then No. 2 Arizona on Dec. 21, 1999. On Tuesday evening, New Mexico will try to duplicate that result.