New Mexico vs. Saint Mary’s: Preview, TV schedule, Live Stream, Radio, Odds
The Lobos will face a solid Saint Mary’s team in another game featuring a contrast of styles
Can the Lobos recover?
WEEK 10: New Mexico Lobos (4-2) vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels (5-4)
WHEN: Friday, December 7 — 5:00 PM MT/4:00 PM PT
WHERE: Staples Center; Los Angeles, California (21,000)
SERIES RECORD: New Mexico leads 2-0
ODDS: Saint Mary’s -7
New Mexico (4-2) will play Saint Mary’s (5-4) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. While not a tournament, the event will see a trio of TV-worthy match-ups, the last of which features #6 Nevada against #20 Arizona State to go along with the New Mexico vs Saint Mary’s game.
After the Great Alaska Shootout fell through, the Lobos found themselves without a regular season tournament to play in, but one positive from the lack of tournament action that came in the off season was maintaining a match-up with the Gaels.
Suffering a blowout loss against New Mexico State just three days ago, the Lobos will once again face a tough test in the Gaels who, like New Mexico State, primarily play a half court brand of basketball (332 in adjusted tempo) making for another contrast in styles. The Lobos (16 in adjusted tempo), will flip the coin and hope the press can create some turnovers without giving the ball right back.
Saint Mary’s is led by a trio of players averaging double figures in Jordan Ford, Malik Fitts and Jordan Hunter who are averaging 22.3, 14.8 and 10.1 points per game respectively.
New Mexico will hope to see leading scorer Anthony Mathis (15.7 points per game) return to his elite three point shooting status and that Corey Manigault will return to playing within the framework of his team (if allowed to play).
While Manigault is in Los Angeles with the team, it is unclear if he will be playing in the game after he was involved in an altercation with New Mexico State player Eli Chua.
Below are some keys to the Lobos recovering with another good win and finishing 2-1 in three straight road games. After their last outing against New Mexico State, a game in which they lost by 35, the Lobos have a lot to improve on. So while you might normally expect just a few keys to the game, there are a few extras here.
Keys to the game:
1. Move the ball. New Mexico had only seven assists in their game against New Mexico State and the offense looked stagnant partly because of it.
2. Don’t force shots. Without the ball moving, open shots were hard to come by against an athletic Aggie team. By moving the ball, players don’t have to play the one-on-one game.
3. Make free throws. The Lobos shot 57.6% from the line where they left fourteen points. Fourteen points wouldn’t have been enough to overcome the Aggies, but it sure would have helped.
4. Box out. You can’t win many games when you’re out-rebounded by a margin of 21. Securing the ball has been a consistent issue this year for Paul Weir’s team, and it hasn’t been more apparent than it was in their most recent loss.
5. Limit turnovers. Speeding up your opponent works best when they’re the team turning the ball over. Unfortunately the Gaels have only turned the ball over 9 times per game thus far.
6. Be the aggressor. It will be interesting to see if the Lobos can score right from the start. While they were able to overcome allowing Bradley the first 11 points, doing the same for New Mexico State had a far different outcome. Even if the shots aren’t falling, being the aggressor on defense can make all the difference until the slump is through. This will take some work, as the Lobos are 347 in NCAA division I scoring defense, allowing 86.3 points per game.