New Mexico State vs. New Mexico: Game Preview, TV & Radio Schedule, Livestream, Odds, More
New Mexico heads to Las Cruces to try to rectify its status as the premier basketball program in the state of New Mexico
Lobos hope that round two of the Rio Grande Rivalry ends differently this time
WEEK 10: New Mexico State Aggies (6-1, 4-1 home) vs. New Mexico Lobos (4-1, 2-0 Away)
WHEN: Tuesday, December 4 — 7:00 PM MT/6:00 PM PT
WHERE: Pan American Center; Las Cruces, New Mexico (12,482)
TV: Fox Sports Arizona Plus, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Eleven Sports
SERIES RECORD: New Mexico leads 121-100
ODDS: New Mexico State -6.5
New Mexico (4-1) heads to Las Cruces to take on New Mexico State (6-1) for the second time this season, hoping to reclaim their title as the best basketball program in the state. Both teams have only one blemish on their records and will hope to keep it that way Tuesday with difficult games ahead.
After Tuesday night’s game, New Mexico State will take on the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks, while the Lobos face a test of their own against Saint Mary’s, a team that New Mexico State beat earlier in the season.
In the meantime, both coaches are focused on the game that lies ahead.
For New Mexico State, one glaring issue is figuring out how to lower opponent field goal percentages, especially one like the Lobos.
“At the end of the day, it’s if you get the win or the loss. Obviously, that’s the most important result – important number – if you will,” said New Mexico State coach Chris Jans in response to reporters questioning the high field goal percentage of opponent teams this year.
It’s a question that could be asked to either head coach, as both teams are among those allowing opponents some of the highest field goal percentages in college basketball.
The first meeting between the Lobos and the Aggies was no exception as both teams shot the ball startlingly well, alarming both teams of defensive deficiencies. In that meeting, the Aggies finished the game with a 56.6% field goal percentage, while the Lobos made baskets 59.6% of the time.
For New Mexico, such a field goal percentage is no anomaly.
The Lobos are sixth in the nation in adjusted field goal percentage (60.2%), and third in the country in three-point field goal percentage (45.2%). Leading the offensive charge is Anthony Mathis, who is averaging 17.8 points per game in just 25.8 minutes per game, largely because of his marksmanship (60.5% three-point field goal percentage, 4.8 three-pointers made per game).
Jans is aware of the offensive prowess of the Lobos.
“Our effective field goal percentage defense is atrocious. It’s almost 300. . . and their effective offensive field goal percentage is one of the tops in the country. . .we’ve got to do better or if they continue to shoot like that against us tomorrow night, they’re probably going to win the game”.
If the Lobos are to win, though, it’s the defense that will need to continue to step up and present challenges in the passing lanes. Forcing opponents to speed up and getting stops when they don’t wind up shooting the ball in the first 10 seconds will go a long way toward reaching what some think is a high ceiling for New Mexico. Oh, and it helps if A.J Harris doesn’t shoot 6/6 from deep and go for 31 points.