ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It is going to take time for the Lobo men’s basketball team to get to where they want to be. Richard Pitino’s squad has continued to grow but once again fell short on Tuesday night. The Lobos typically depend on the three-point shot but only shot 21% from beyond the arc against Fresno State. Despite the off-night in shooting, UNM cut a 17 point lead down to two.
It was a great last-minute effort but the Lobos still remain winless against Mountain West teams. “We’re at a stage where we got to just stay course and not get too high, get too low,” said coach Pitino. “It takes time and you almost have to ignore your record, as hard as it is. You have to stay positive and stay focused on what it is that helps the team, helps you moving forward.”
“We got to understand that we’re not the team that has arrived yet,” said KJ Jenkins. “We want to win. We’re just going to have to get dirty and we’re going to have to understand that every game is going to be a challenge.” Up next for UNM is San Jose State. The Spartans are also winless in conference play.
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The UNM women’s team on the other hand is rolling on a nine-game win streak. Up next for the Lobos is UNLV, who gave UNM the toughest game of league play so far. The Rebels have only lost one conference game (to UNM), and are currently on a five-game win streak. “Definitely going to have to be locked in, focused and ready,” said Shai McGruder. “We’re going to go. We’re going to execute the game plan. We’re going to make a game plan then we’re going to execute the game plan and hopefully, we come out with our chances on top.” Lobos vs Rebels round two is Thursday night in Las Vegas at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, the NMSU men’s team is also preparing for a tough conference match. Head Coach Chris Jans liked how his team responded after an “embarrassing” loss to Sam Houston State but Grand Canyon will provide another big test. “This is a huge, huge game,” said coach Jans. “You know, they’re coming off a couple of losses. I’m sure that didn’t sit well with their program, coaches and players and they’re looking at this as we got to have it. You know, we got to have this game and we have to have the same mentality.” The game is on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Las Cruces.
In other news, Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders will be joined by another former Lobo in Miami, as D’Angelo Ross has signed a futures contract with the team. Ross has spent the last three years with the New England Patriots since signing with them as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He played three games for the Patriots in 2021 and started one.
Also, with baseball season right around the corner, the Lobos believe that they will have a deep bullpen under first-year head coach Tod Brown. “We have some tall guys, we have some shorter guys, we got some left-handers, we have some right-handers, we have some submariners,” said Brown. “So, what we’re trying to do now is find out what is the best mix. Who’s going to start and whose going to close and who pitches in between them.”
The Lobos season begins on Feb. 18 at the baseball classic tournament in Surprise, Arizona.