New Mexico vs. Cal State Northridge: Game Preview, TV, Radio Schedule, Livestream, Odds, More
New Mexico hosts the Matadors for the return home and home
The Lobos needed a last second three-pointer to beat the Matadors last year.
WHO: New Mexico Lobos (1-0) vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-1)
WHEN: Saturday, November 9 — 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT
WHERE: Dreamstlye Arena – The Pit, Albuquerque, NM (15,411)
SERIES RECORD: New Mexico leads all time series, 6-0
ODDS: New Mexico -10, per KenPom
PREVIEW: New Mexico hosts Cal State Northridge, playing the Matadors as their first Division I foe for the second straight year. In 2018-’19 the Lobos struggled against Northridge in the Matadome, needing a last second three-point shot from former Lobo (and now Oregon Duck) Anthony Mathis to put away the Big West residing team, 87-84.
Lamine Diane, now a redshirt sophomore for the Matadors who averaged 24.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 2.1 assists per game in his redshirt freshman campaign, dominated the previous contest between the two teams, finishing with 34 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. And while Diane is by far the centerpiece of the team, 5’8″ junior guard Terrell Gomez brings a strong presence at point guard. Both were all-conference first teamers in the Big West in 2018-2019, while Diane picked up an AP All-American Honorable Mention.
Coming off a 20 point win over Eastern New Mexico, the Lobos had plenty to clean up, especially in the areas of rebounding and turnovers. While there were definitely some positives in the win (22 assists on 33 made baskets, 60% field goal percentage, opponent field goal percentage held to 37.3%, 73.1% team free throw percentage) being outrebounded by a Division II squad with their tallest player standing at 6’7 37-36 is at least a little disconcerting. Taking care of the ball should come, presumably, with the wealth of talented guards on the team, but 21 turnovers, again against a Division II squad, is less than ideal.
As for the game itself, the match-up between Carlton Bragg, who looked far more bouncy and athletic in the season-opener than he did in ’18-’19, and Lamine Diane will be a treat to watch, as Bragg was not yet eligible when New Mexico went to San Fernando Valley last year. The same could be said about the New Mexico guards (especially JJ Caldwell and JaQuan Lyle) and Terrell Gomez. Look out for Corey Manigault too, who is among the best in the league around the block offensively, and put up 16 against the Matadors the last time out.
So how can the Lobos win?
It’s seems it is the same story as last year: commit to defense. Rebound the ball and take care of the ball. There is little question that New Mexico has the offensive capabilities to make things happen. But defensive consistency in the game, and throughout the season really, is what will dictate how far this iteration of the New Mexico Lobos will go in 2019-2020.