New Mexico vs. Denver: Game Preview, Odds, How To Watch
New Mexico hosts Denver coming off a fiery game against NMSU
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After a close, emotion-riddled game, New Mexico looks to keep its cool against Denver
WHO: New Mexico Lobos (5-4, 0-0 MWC) vs. Denver Pioneers (3-7, 0-0 Summit)
WHEN: Thursday, December 9th – 7:00 PM MST
WHERE: The Pit – Albuquerque, NM
STREAMING: The Mountain West Network On Stadium
SERIES RECORD: Tied, 21-21
LAST MATCHUP: December 12, 1970 – New Mexico won 86 – 78
ODDS: New Mexico -14.0
OVER UNDER: 144.5
Albuquerque, NM – The New Mexico Lobos host the Denver Pioneers of the Summit conference coming off of a 78-76 overtime loss to in-state rival New Mexico State. With several consecutive big time plays from both sides, the game finished on quite a basket by Washington Huskies transfer Nate Pryor for the Aggies, making the game an instant classic in the long time rivalry series.
— NM State MBB (@NMStateMBB) December 7, 2021
And after enduring some pay-back style rivalry antics, New Mexico is sure to be eager to get back in the win column against the Denver Pioneers.
After such an emotional game, it might be easy to dismiss the 3-7 Pioneers against a sub-300 strength of schedule, but to their credit Denver has not been blown out in any games. Even in their recent matchups against decent teams like Texas State and Wyoming, the Pioneers have kept their largest margin of defeat to 13 points, despite having one of the worst defensive efficiencies nationally (322 per KenPom.com).
New Mexico should match up well with the Pioneers, which will be (height-wise) one of the smallest teams New Mexico has faced to date, though like most teams the Lobos have faced, they do have just a bit more girth.
Still, New Mexico should be expected to close this one out in front of the Pit crowd behind stars Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House, who account for 48% of the team’s scoring offense behind the fourth fastest tempo in the country.
Key matchup – Jaelen House (18.8 points, 4.2 assists, 1.9 steals) vs. KJ Hunt (16.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists)
Coming off a 21 point performance, House was outscored only by fellow guard Jamal Mashburn, who has been incredibly consistent for New Mexico. It’s already tough to guard Mashburn for any team, as evidenced by his 21.0 points per game and defense-ripping mid-range jumper. But when House brings the ball movement (and quickness) New Mexico’s game takes a significant step up.
The Pioneers will need someone like Hunt to match the energy that House brings to have a chance at the upset in Albuquerque.
New Mexico: Emmanuel Kuac (Questionable, knee)
Denver: No injuries