ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The first meeting of the season series was a double overtime thriller that ended in the favor of the Nevada Wolfpack. The UNM Lobos and Nevada Wolfpack will play game two of their season series in front of a packed house at The Pit in Albuquerque Tuesday night.
As of Monday evening, 13,500 tickets were out for the game. Both teams are trying to keep pace with Mountain West leading San Diego State in a tight race that will be decided over the next few weeks. “They understand the standings, they look at it,” said UNM Head Coach Richard Pitino. “They understand the net ranking, they look at it. But, after 23 games, year two, we’re sitting in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament bid. We’re in fifth place in our league, whatever it may be. So certainly, there’s a lot to play for. I don’t want them thinking about that. I just want them thinking about playing the right way.”
The Mountain West has been a conference of tight victories and thrilling finishes this season. It has been exciting for the fans and players. “We’ve been enjoying it. It’s fun,” said UNM guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. “I mean, this is the best time for basketball, you know, this time of January and February, when you need these games and you need to win these games for the standings and the tournament and all of that. This is the best time of the year. I’m having a blast, I know the guys are. We just can’t wait for tomorrow.”
The game will be the return of former Lobo head coaches Steve Alford and Craig Neal. The pair was welcomed by a chorus of boos when they returned in 2020. “My six years at New Mexico were a lot of fun,” said Wolfpack Head Coach Steve Alford. “We won six championships in those six years. So, I know what The Pit’s like when it’s sold out and it’s selling out now and they got a great team and we had an incredible battle with them here and it’s probably going to be the same down there again. I’ve been all over this country. There’s [sic] very few arenas that, when you got everybody in there and you got a good team, there’s [sic] very few harder places to play than The Pit.” The game has an 8:30 p.m. start time and will be broadcast on FS1.
In other sports news, Volcano Vista standout quarterback Elliot Paskett Bell has committed to New Mexico Military Institute to play football. Paskett Bell threw for over 3,000 yards and rushed for more than a thousand yards while accounting for 47 touchdowns last season.
At 57 years old, New Mexico Roadrunners Head Coach Steve Famiglietta has become the oldest goal scorer in all of professional arena soccer and professional indoor soccer history.