New Mexico vs. UTEP: Game Preview, TV, Radio Schedule, Livestream, Odds, More
New Mexico heads to UTEP as part of regional rivalry road tests
Lobos vs. Miners promises to be a good one in El Paso.
WHO: New Mexico Lobos (4-0) vs. UTEP Miners (3-0)
WHEN: Tuesday, November 18 — 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT
WHERE: Don Haskins Center – El Paso, TX (11,892)
STREAM: CUSA TV ($6.95/24 hour pass)
SERIES RECORD: New Mexico leads, 51-50
ODDS: UTEP -1
PREVIEW: New Mexico has its first opportunity for a road win when it heads to the Don Haskins Center to take on the UTEP Miners in El Paso, Texas on Tuesday as part of a long-standing rivalry between the Lobos and the Miners.
Both teams have started the season strong, posting undefeated records. UTEP (3-0) has played only one Division I opponent, a 65-50 win in the first of two matches of the Battle of I-10 against a short-handed New Mexico State. Nevertheless, a strong start for UTEP is a good sign for former Fresno State Bulldogs coach Rodney Terry.
New Mexico (4-0) continued their early season success in their last outing, a tough battle against a hot-shooting McNeese State squad. While the final was a 90-80 win, McNeese State never allowed New Mexico to pull away until the final minutes when a late-game technical was called on top of a Lobo score and shooting foul against JaQuan Lyle, who made all four free throws and secured the win.
New Mexico has had high-level production from senior the senior Lobo (19.0 points, 6.3 assists, 4.5 rebounds per game), who won last week’s Mountain West Player of the Week. The 6-5 guard’s size, ability to score and to facilitate the offense has made things look offensively as New Mexico’s offense ranks highly in several categories offensively (8th in points per game, 10th in field goal percentage and 6th in assists per game).
Carlton Bragg has been a rebounding machine, and is averaging a double-double with 11.6 points and 11.0 rebounds per game (T-2nd Mountain West) as well as 1.5 blocks per game. Meanwhile, Makuach Maluach (12.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists per game) has quietly been getting the job done offensively, and Corey Manigault (15.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 1 block per game) has demonstrated an improved defense to complement his talent around the block.
In contrast, UTEP has been a more defensive-minded team to date. The Miners are allowing just 59.0 points per game (T-44th in the NCAA), and will be the first major challenge to New Mexico’s efficient offense. But make no mistake, the UTEP offense can get going too and is led by former Fresno State forward Bryson Williams (16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds per game).
Paul Weir has emphasized his desire for revitalizing the regional rivalries that have existed between many of the teams in the southwest part of the country, but this will be the first year that many, not just a couple, of the teams in the region are expected to be good, including the old rival, UTEP.
Said the third year head coach of New Mexico regarding the upcoming away rivalry games, “It’s exciting. This is college basketball. It’s kind of the rivalry of this region. There’s a lot of great basketball programs around this area. I think we all kind of consider the UNLV’s, the Arizona’s, the New Mexico’s the New Mexico State’s, the UTEP’s, the Texas Tech’s. I mean historically, we’ve all just had great regional basketball and we’re going down on the road to play two great ones [against UTEP then New Mexico State]. Hopefully it’ll live up that kind of historical significance and we’ll have good basketball games.”
Certainly, these are two programs looking to burst back onto the national scene with much of the talent to do so making for a fun Tuesday night with a rivalry atmosphere.