Boise State (13-15) at New Mexico (23-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 3, 4:00 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Pit/Bob King Court (15,411) -- Albuquerque, New Mexico. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: BSU 11-5, UNM 13-2. Away Record: BSU 1-10, UNM 7-3. Neutral Record: BSU 1-0, UNM 3-1. Conference Record: BSU 3-10, UNM 9-4. Series Record: New Mexico leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Despite being ousted from the AP's Top-25 this week, the New Mexico Lobos are still shooting for the regular-season title in the Mountain West Conference as they close out the regular season against the Boise State Broncos today in The Pit.
New Mexico, which is an impressive 13-2 at home this season, went from losing back-to-back games against Colorado State and TCU on the road last week to being on the verge of possibly capturing the MWC regular-season crown. On Wednesday night, the team demolished Air Force for the second time this year with an 86-56 romp at home. Now 9-4 in conference and tied with San Diego State for first place in the standings, UNM managed to outscore The Academy by a combined 69 points in two games this season.
As for the Broncos, the newest addition to the Mountain West, they started out the conference schedule quite poorly and then bounced back with three straight wins in February. However, the team then closed out last month with three consecutive setbacks, the latest coming on Wednesday night versus San Diego State, 66-53. With the defeats, BSU is now just 3-10 in league play and that has the group tied with Air Force for seventh place in the standings.
This is just the second game ever between these two programs, the first coming back in early February when the Lobos delivered a 65-49 win at Taco Bell Arena as the hosts shot just 31 percent from the field.
The Broncos shot just 9-of-27 from the floor in the first half against SDSU earlier this week, missing all 10 chances behind the three-point line, finishing the night 2-of-16 on the perimeter as they fell by 13 points at home. Derrick Marks was the top scorer for the group with 13 points, followed by Anthony Drmic with 10 points and five rebounds, but the Broncos hurt themselves severely at the free-throw line where they made just 11-of-25. In conference play this season the Broncos have been hampered by just 38.4 percent shooting from the floor and an awful 28.1 percent behind the three- point line, resulting in a mere 59.9 ppg. The defense has managed to limit the opposition to 66.8 ppg, but when you don't have a single double-digit scorer you can rely on there never seems to be much enthusiasm for a team like the Broncos.
The Lobos went on the attack immediately against Air Force, holding the visitors to just 29.6 percent shooting from the floor in the first half, 36.5 percent for the entire game, making it that much easier for UNM to deliver yet another lopsided win over The Academy. Hugh Greenwood connected on 5-of-7 beyond the arc for a game-high 22 points, followed by Drew Gordon with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds as the Lobos easily beat the Falcons on the glass, 44-32. Phillip McDonald connected on 4-of-8 on the perimeter as he finished with 13 points off the bench. McDonald may not show up in the highlights as much as the regular starters for the Lobos, but still he is seventh all-time in three-pointers made (202) for the program and a top-25 scorer (1,125 points) so defenses cannot sleep on him. Gordon, who now has 14 double-doubles this season, also has 317 rebounds in 2011-12 which is the 8th- best single-season total at New Mexico.
The Lobos have to have a short memory for this meeting, putting aside the fact that they just blew out their last opponent and they defeated BSU in the first meeting by 16 points on the road as well. Unless Boise State has an incredible game at the offensive end, expect this meeting to go to UNM as well.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico 71, Boise State 58
03/03 10:45:53 ET