Sports Desk: UNM men’s basketball looks split on series with UNLV

Local Sports

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – University of New Mexico‘s men’s basketball is currently 0-7 in conference play and coming off of a 77-54 loss to UNLV on Saturday, the Lobos look to split their series with the Rebels and get into the Mountain West win column on Monday night.

“There is no quick solution to this, it’s four freshmen, it’s the toughest schedule we have ever had here, there is a lot of just things against them. So, we just got to keep working and keep working through the situation, as troubling as that may be,” said UNM Head Basketball Coach Paul Weir, after their loss to UNLV on Saturday.

UNM will play UNLV at 7:30 pm on Monday night and while the team has struggled on the offensive end of the court, they also say that they need to tighten up on defense, especially in transition. “You know our offense, people say we need to make shots and stuff like that, but if we can’t stop people in transition on defense then we don’t have no [sic] chance, and I just feel like we have to come in and play defense every game. If we can stop people, then it doesn’t [sic] matter if we don’t score,” said UNM senior guard Makuach Maluach. UNM vs UNLV is at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

New Mexico State men’s basketball will remain on pause from athletic activity following multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the team. NMSU has already had six games canceled due to COVID-19 and after this news from Sunday, the team will now have to postpone their two-game series with UTRGV that was scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

NMSU is currently 2-1 on the year and hasn’t played in a live game for three weeks. Head Coach Chris Jans was asked if he believes the season should go on, or should it be shut down? “It’s not an option for me if I am making the decision, but obviously that’s not something that I would get to make a final decision on. I think my players would answer it the same way, at least that’s the feedback I am getting thus far and we have talked about it. It’s questioning how much you really truly love this game,” said Jans in a Monday news conference. Jans said his team has shown a continued desire to play this season, and that he is proud of the way that they are handling this situation.

Meanwhile, it’s fight week for Albuquerque’s own, WBO Junior Featherweight Champion boxer, Angelo Leo. Leo (20-0) will take on Stephen Fulton Jr. (18-0) on Saturday in Connecticut. This will mark Leo’s first title defense since becoming the WBO champion in August.

Coming into this bout Leo is the underdog, but he isn’t letting that faze him. Leo has been dealt a lot of adversity in his professional career, which started eight years ago and he believes this is just another challenge that he will attack head-on.

“Initially, we left New Mexico to live in L.A. and things got a little tough for us in those three years. It just got too expensive for my dad, but my dad still wanted me to pursue my career as a boxer in California. So, we purchased an RV, and we stayed in an RV for about two months. With that being said, there was no electricity, no plumbing, and it was just pretty much a place to rest our heads. But it was tough,” said Leo.

Leo and his father then decided to make the trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, to further his boxing career. However, Leo said it was best to go back to Albuquerque and after a month of being back, made his pro debut.

Leo is now 20-0 with 9 KO’s, and even though he is an underdog coming into Saturday nights fight with Fulton Jr., he is determined to remain on top. “I know a lot of people don’t know that about me, but I have had some hardships coming up and those are what gave me the mental fortitude I need to be where I am at today. You know, a lot of people don’t know my name, but that will all change come January 23rd, I am going to show everyone that I belong here and I am a champion for a reason,” Leo said.

Leo vs Fulton Jr. will be the main event on Showtime Boxing this Saturday, that fight card is set to start at 7 p.m. MT.

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