ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Lobo men’s basketball team returns to The Pit on Saturday, and so will head coach Richard Pitino after missing the last two games due to COVID-19 protocols. In the two games without Pitino, the Lobos went 0-2 but will now try to get things right against Boise State. With the Lobos losing multiple players in the frontcourt, winning has been a challenge in conference play as UNM has yet to win a Mountain West game.

“It’s about staying confident, understanding what the circumstances are,” said Pitino. “We are undermanned greatly. You know, nobody else in the league is dealing with this right now to go along with you don’t have the program with the strength and stability to deal with those things.” UNM now faces a Boise State team that is undefeated in league play and riding an eight-game win streak. Tipoff is at 3:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FS1.

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Meanwhile, the UNM women’s basketball team is rolling in the Mountain West wins. The defending conference champions defeated Wyoming on Thursday night. Shai McGruder led the way with 26 points, Jaedyn De La Cerda had 19 and Antonia Anderson made her one-thousandth career point. The Lobos are now 5-0 against Mountain West teams, which is the best start for the program in league play since UNM was in the WAC. Up next for the Lobos are the Colorado State Rams on Saturday at 1 p.m.

In other news, this year’s Joe Vivian Classic got underway at Albuquerque High. COVID-19 has made high school wrestling more difficult this year, as individual matches are being canceled and the amount of teams participating is down. “Clearly wrestling is more than a contact sport, they are very close contact with each other,” said AHS athletic director, Chad Jones. “Masks are required for all wrestlers, originally we has about 31 teams planned for this tournament and we only have 25 here today. Again, we think the participation numbers are a little bit down, unfortunately, whether that’s due to COVID or just a change in interest of sports but the kids that are here are working hard and have been working hard all season and we are happy to put on this tournament for them.”

As of Friday night, Los Lunas leads the field. Finals for the tournament start at 4 p.m. on Saturday.