Sports Desk: Carlton Bragg returns as UNM men’s basketball looks to bounce back from a loss

FOX New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (KRQE) – Red-shirt senior Carlton Bragg has been cleared by UNM to rejoin the team effective immediately. The star forward for the Lobos served a three-game suspension, and the athletic department is not releasing the reasoning behind the suspension. UNM released this statement Friday:

“After serving a three-game suspension, Carlton Bragg will rejoin all team activities, effective immediately. Bragg was suspended after information was received by the athletic department in late December 2019, that required review by appropriate University personnel. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits UNM from disclosing or commenting on the details of the information provided or the results of the review.”

UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez also issued the following statment:

Student-athlete conduct is something that is taken very seriously at The University of New Mexico. We represent this University, the city of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico. Our expectation is to win with integrity.

UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nunez

This is big for the Lobos, as Bragg has been missed in his three games without the team. Bragg is currently averaging 13.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. UNM will be back in action on Tuesday at home playing Fresno State at 9 p.m, as they look to bounce back from a conference loss on Wednesday.

“I don’t know, this is new for us. We obviously haven’t lost very much, particularly to a team like this. So, we will find out a little bit more about ourselves. We rebounded very well from our last loss, and hopefully, we will have the same rebound this time as well,” said UNM Head Basketball Coach Paul Weir.

The last time UNM lost was in November to Auburn. They bounced back with a win over Wisconsin.

New Mexico State Men’s Basketball will tip-off conference play on Saturday. The 9-6 Aggies will play Cal Baptist on the road at 8 p.m on Saturday, and while every team gets an extra boost of energy heading into conference action, this game will have a little extra behind it for the Aggies.

“Certainly it’s going to be brought up and a lot of the guys are back. You know, last year they spoiled our opener and it was a big night for them. Their first conference game and they played really well and deserved to win and we didn’t. At the end of the day, it’s about having a good week of preparation and then just being in the right frame of mind Saturday night when we tip up against them,” said NMSU Head Basketball Coach Chris Jans.

Moving on to the Octagon, UFC Fight Night 167 will be at the Star Center in Rio Rancho on February 15. Six fighters on this UFC card will have ties to New Mexico, and one of those fighters is Nicco Montano.

Nicco is the former UFC Featherweight Champion and she currently trains at Jackson’s Acoma here in Albuquerque. She is coming off a loss in July, but she is ready to bounce back and has the right mindset heading into her fight with Macy Chiasson.

“I think a lot of fighters underestimate me until they get in there, and then it’s just a whole different world. So I always have that to rely on, like I am pretty confident with my mental game,” said Nicco Montano.

This Bantamweight bout will be big for Montano, as not only is the former champion looking to improve her 4-3 professional record, but she will also be doing it in front of friends and family.

“You know, every fight I feel like I need to do that, especially because of the caliber I am at and having the number of fights I do. It’s so minimal to a lot of other girls, and then knowing that I had the target on my back for the longest time because I had the belt. So, there’s no other feeling that’s going to top that feeling, besides like fighting in your hometown with the Navajo reservation right there. And so everyone’s going to come down, and I have all my family, everyone is going wild about this. So yeah, there is a little added stress, but that’s where I find the motivation in getting my hand raised,” said Montano.

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