Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#735 New Mexico State vs.
#736 New Mexico
Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#735 New Mexico State University
#736 University of New Mexico
5-5
9-2
18-13-1
12-19
16-16
16-15
77
76
64
76

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It’s a battle between a pair of schools from the Land of Enchantment when the WAC takes on the Mountain West in college hoops action. The New Mexico State Aggies are on the road as they make the in-state trek to face the New Mexico Lobos Saturday night. New Mexico State defeated Denver 72-67 on the road Tuesday night in their last contest. New Mexico dumped Wyoming 79-65 on the road last Saturday in their previous contest. The Lobos hold a 75-64 edge in the all-time series and took a 78-77 road win in the first matchup this season November 21. That snapped a five-game win streak by the Aggies in the series.

New Mexico State Aggies Try to Earn Split of Season Set

New Mexico State held off Denver on the road in their last game to climb back over the .500 mark on the year. The Aggies now try to make it two straight wins and split the season series by prevailing here over their in-state rivals. New Mexico State led by as many as 17 in the first half and by nine at halftime. The Aggies were up 15 with less than nine minutes to play but had to hang on after Denver climbed to within three with 18 seconds to play. New Mexico State shot 50 percent from the field, including eight of 22 from three-point range, and controlled the glass 38-27 to help offset 19 turnovers in the game. Jabari Rice finished with 18 points and eight rebounds to lead the Aggies in the win.

On the season, the Aggies are 294th in the nation in scoring offense with an average of 67.5 points per contest. New Mexico State is 258th in rebounding with 35.5 boards a night and 288th by dishing out 12.2 assists per contest. The Aggies are tied for 83rd in scoring defense as they allow an average of 64 points per game. Trevelin Queen leads the team with 14.9 points plus 5.5 rebounds per contest. Jabari Rice chips in 13 points a night while Ivan Aurreocoechea, Shawn Williams, Terrell Brown, Tennessee Owens and C.J. Bobbitt are important secondary options. New Mexico State shoots 42.8 percent as a team this season from the floor. The Aggies are connecting on 7.6 three-pointers a night despite shooting only 29.8 percent from beyond the arc. New Mexico State is scuffling at the free throw line, converting 67.6 percent of their chances this season.

New Mexico Aggies Seeking Fifth Straight Win

New Mexico won their fourth in a row as they took care of Wyoming to improve to 2-0 in Mountain West action. The Lobos try to extend their win streak to five and earn their 10th win of the year here. New Mexico was tied with nine minutes to play in the first half before reeling off a 15-2 lead to take command of the contest. The Lobos didn’t let Wyoming closer than nine for the final 25 minutes of the contest. New Mexico shot 48.3 percent from the floor, including a five of 17 showing from beyond the arc, and controlled the glass by a 47-29 margin to help offset 19 turnovers in the game. Corey Manigault finished with 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench to lead the Lobos.

The Lobos put up an average of 78.4 points a night this season. New Mexico collects 38.3 rebounds a night while dishing out 16.2 assists per contest. The Lobos have been weak on the defensive end, ranking 234th in the nation by giving up 71.1 points a game. JaQuan Lyle leads the team with 17.7 points plus 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists a night. Carlton Bragg Jr. (12.6 ppg, 10 boards), Corey Manigault (10.5 ppg) and Makuach Maluach (10.2 ppg) are all scoring in double figures this season. Zane Martin, Vance Jackson, JJ Caldwell and Keith McGee are all contributors on the offensive end of the floor. New Mexico is hitting 48.7 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Lobos knock down 5.5 triples a night while shooting 31.9 percent from beyond the arc this season. New Mexico is mediocre at the charity stripe as they cash in 72.3 percent of their chances as a team this season.

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This one is always an entertaining affair between in-state rivals. New Mexico State has won the last two games here at the Pit and is trying to break some history here. Their last three-game win streak on the road against the Lobos came back in 1939-40. The problem for the Aggies here is their inconsistency. New Mexico State isn’t an offensive powerhouse and they put a lot of pressure on their defense. New Mexico has plenty of returning talent from their squad of a season ago and they are clicking right now. That momentum, plus home-court advantage, give them the upper hand in a tight game.

Prediction: New Mexico Lobos -4.5

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This one is a clash of styles. New Mexico State has struggled offensively but they have played tough defense all season long. On the other side, New Mexico has had their struggles defensively but they've put up some solid offensive numbers this season. The Aggies are going to face a tough one trying to slow the Lobos' offense. New Mexico is 23rd in the nation in field goal percentage. Meanwhile, the Aggies are 243rd in field goal percentage defense (43.6 percent) this season. Can New Mexico State force the turnovers they need to stay in the game?

The over is 4-1 in the Aggies' last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record. New Mexico has seen the over go 4-0 in their last four on Saturday and 7-3 in their last 10 after a straight-up win. The first meeting this season saw 155 points. We might not quite get there but there's enough offense to push this one over the number.

Prediction: Over 142
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.