On Tuesday night, the Lobos (17-8, 6-6) are hoping to get some revenge against the San Diego State Aztecs (24-0, 13-0).
In what will easily be the toughest game of the season for New Mexico, who was blown out the first time the two teams met. The Aztecs opened the January 29thgame with a 17-0 run and never looked back. That fast start gave San Diego all they needed to end the Lobos home unbeaten streak.
New Mexico would like to return the favor to the last remaining undefeated team in the nation, but it will require a much better effort than last time. The Lobos scored a season-low 57 points while shooting only 33.8 percent from the floor.
The Lobos chances will be buoyed by the return of JaQuan Lyle, who missed the first meeting between the two teams this season. Lyle, the Lobos leading scorer, is averaging 16.5 points per game and has been a major contributor to the team all season long.
Corey Manigault will also be a significant factor in the return match on Tuesday. Coming off of a career-high 28 points against Wyoming, Manigault is now second on the team with 12.9 points per game.
For San Diego State, their season keeps rolling along. Even against a scrappy Air Force team, there wasn’t much troubling the Aztecs on Saturday night. It seems that the only thing that can stop them is themselves.
They’ve been very good at limiting turnovers and controlling the pace of play. If not for a weaker Mountain West Conference this year, there is some argument that the Aztecs should be higher than #4 in the nation.
Malachi Flynn has been leading the way for the Aztecs this year and is averaging 16.5 points per game. The Lobos will need to find a way to limit his looks and prevent him from getting to the line. Even if they manage to do that, however, San Diego shots very well from beyond the arc, an area that the Lobos have struggled to defend.
The game Tuesday night is scheduled for an 9 p.m. (Mountain) tip. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.