The second part of the Rio Grande Rivalry is taking place in Albuquerque this weekend as the New Mexico Lobos look to sweep the New Mexico State Aggies.
During their last meeting on Nov. 21, the Lobos were able to pick up a 78-77 victory over the Aggies in Las Cruces. That was UNM head coach Paul Weir’s first victory against NMSU, his previous school.
Since that game, the Lobos have gone 3-1 with their only loss coming from the Auburn Tigers who are currently undefeated at 8-0 and ranking no. 12 in the nation. Overall, the Lobos hold a 9-2 record that includes a perfect 6-0 record at The Pit.
New Mexico State
The Aggies have picked up four wins and two losses since they hosted New Mexico. Overall, NMSU has been having a less than ideal season at 6-5 overall. It is no secret that the team has had to play a little bit shorthanded.
Senior point guard AJ Harris hasn’t played any games this season due to a fractured finger, which he got surgery for in October. Earlier this week he tweeted that he was finally able to start shooting again. Clayton Henry, also a senior, is also still waiting to play as he deals with a torn thumb ligament.
Preseason All-WAC First-Team selection Terrell Brown has gotten some minutes but is not playing like himself as he is still feeling the impact from a strained groin that happened in the summer. He sat out during the Aggies’ last game, a 72-67 win over Denver.
The Aggies are averaging 67.5 points per game with Trevelin Queen leading everyone with an average of 14.9ppg. Jabari Rice is also seeing double digits at 13.0 ppg.
2H | 9:52 | ⬆️52-39
Medic 🚨 We need a medic on the floor at Magness Arena to treat two busted ankles!
— NM State MBB (@NMStateMBB) December 11, 2019
NMSU could improve from the charity line, so far only making around 67.6% of free throws. From beyond the arc the Aggies are at 29.8%, which is not a great percentage, but since they are taking a lot of those shots, they are managing to average 7.6 three-pointers per game.
Lobos coming in refreshed
Through their last couple of games Weir said the Lobos were lacking some “burst,” something he hoped would get better once his team had time to recharge.
The Lobos have now had a week without playing, which Weir said was helpful to the student athletes who were dealing with finishing the semester strong academically.
JaQuan Lyle, who just received his second Mountain West Player of the Week honor, agreed that it was something he and his teammates needed.
“I felt good before the break, I feel even better after,” the player said. “I think it was more so mentally than physically. I think we were mentally like, ‘Oh my god another game, another game?’ Overall I’m happy we got a little break in and now we are back to it.”