New Mexico (10-3) at Wyoming (9-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 8, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Arena Auditorium (15,000) -- Laramie, Wyoming. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: UNM 6-1, Wyoming 8-1. Away Record: UNM 1-1, Wyoming 0-4. Neutral Record: UNM 3-1, Wyoming 1-0. Conference Record: UNM 1-0, Wyoming 0-1. Series Record: Series is tied, 64-64.
GAME NOTES: The New Mexico Lobos hit the road this week for a pair of Mountain West Conference showdowns, beginning with a stop at Wyoming on Wednesday night.
The Lobos opened up their conference slate last Saturday versus Colorado State at home and came away with a convincing 80-73 victory. The win was the third in a row for a New Mexico squad that is 6-1 in The Pit this season.
As for the Cowboys, they too have been potent at home this season, winning all but one of nine matchups in Laramie. However, the team's latest contest took place in Reno against Nevada over the weekend and it was handed a 61-58 setback in the conference opener. The defeat snapped a brief two-game win streak and dropped the squad to 0-4 in true road dates this season.
In terms of the all-time series between these two programs, the relationship is knotted at 64-64. The most recent matchup took place in the second week of March last season, with the Lobos posting a 59-46 victory as part of the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas.
These squads will go at it again on Feb. 5 in The Pit to complete the regular- season series.
Cameron Bairstow erupted for 29 points and 14 rebounds as the New Mexico Lobos defeated the Colorado State Rams by seven points in Mountain West Conference action in The Pit over the weekend. Also logging a double-double for the Lobos was Alex Kirk who tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds, adding five blocked shots, while Kendall Williams shot just 6-of-18 from the floor, but still finished with 22 points, eight boards and seven assists. In addition to producing a 48-40 rebounding advantage, UNM also held the visitors to just 37.3 percent accuracy from the floor in the meeting.
The interior for the Lobos continues to be their strength, particularly Bairstow who leads the program with 20.8 ppg and is also second on the glass with 7.7 rpg. Shooting 55.3 percent from the floor, Bairstow has proven himself to be a reliable scorer in many clutch situations. Williams (18.8 ppg), who in addition to pacing the group with 69 assists and 21 steals, is connecting on 45.1 percent of his 3-point tries, although the team as a whole has made good on a mere 31.2 percent out on the perimeter.
In a game that featured seven ties and 11 lead changes, Wyoming led by two points with 1:32 remaining in the second half but failed to score after that, with Derek Cooke missing a 3-pointer at the end of regulation. Josh Adams, who scored the final points of the meeting for the Cowboys, finished with 15, Riley Grabau and Larry Nance Jr. each tallied 14, as the team shot 40.8 percent from the floor, which included a 6-of-17 showing behind the 3-point line.
Nance Jr. not only leads the team in scoring with his 16.1 ppg, but he is also tops on the rebounding list with 9.1 rpg, providing Wyoming with an advantage of just 1.0 rpg over the competition. Grabau (11.6 ppg) and Adams (11.4 ppg) try to give the team an offensive presence on the outside, and while the former is hitting his 3-point tries at an amazing 53.7 percent clip, the latter has converted a mere 27.8 percent from distance.
Both of these teams can clamp down on defense when needed, but the interior domination by the Lobos with Bairstow and Kirk will probably be too much for Nance Jr. to handle all by himself, even with the hometown crowd rooting on the Pokes.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico 67, Wyoming 58
01/08 10:32:04 ET