ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The UNM basketball team is off to an undefeated start following the 84-63 win over SMU on Tuesday night. The Lobos have now won three straight games against division I opponents for the first time since the 2016-17 season, and up next is rival NMSU on Saturday.
“I mean I thought that that was one of our best defensive games since I’ve been here,” coach Pitino said. “You know, we were just rock solid. We were aggressive and disruptive on the ball. Credit to our coaching staff to get them prepared. Just a terrific road win. We only had, what, two of those last year. So, just very, very proud of them. I think the key is can we stay humble. Can we regroup and have two great days of practice, leading up to New Mexico State.”
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Meanwhile the NMSU team is coming off a loss to UTEP. Aggies head coach Greg Heiar believes Saturday’s game against the Lobos will come down to who’s backcourt has a bigger game.
“Definitely, I think that is going to be a huge story line going into the game,” he said. “Which backcourt is going to control the game and control the environment, you know, get their teammates involved and get easy baskets.”
In other news, the UNM football team is hosting SDSU on Friday. Lobo coaches Danny Gonzales and Rocky Long both spent time with the Aztecs and even recruited New Mexicans Jordan Byrd and Keshawn Banks to the program.
“Jordan is their leading rusher and Keshawn is one of their best d-lineman and so they’ll come and play in front of family and friends and the challenge will be to try and whip their tail,” Gonzales said. “I’m friends with Brady Hoke, their head coach. I obviously have a great history with San Diego State as well as coach Long does. So, it’s a great opportunity to go up against a bunch of the kids that we recruited.”
Also, the Artesia Bulldogs are looking to add to their record number of state titles. The team is traveling to Deming for a class 5A semi-final game, and coach Maupin believes in his team to get back to the finals.
“I really think, its all aspects of the game,” said Maupin. “I mean, you know we have ran back 7 kick offs for touchdowns this year, we have had five plus turnovers just in the kicking game, our defense over the last few weeks are really tackling well, they are getting to the ball, and then our offense is just clicking. We are moving the ball, we are scoring a lot of points, and our tempo has just gotten better throughout the year. So, its really the whole picture, its been really fun this year.”