The Lobos and Aggies reignite the hoops edition of the Rio Grande Rivalry tonight in Las Cruces. Different faces lead the teams, but the rivalry is no less heated than in years past.
Coming off their first loss of the year New Mexico (0-0, 4-1) is hoping to rebound against the in-state rivals. Despite another strong performance from JaQuan Lyle (19 points, eight rebounds), the Lobos were unable to overcome the UTEP Miners in their first road game of the season. After a last-second shot was missed, the three-point loss has to be gnawing at the team.
They weren’t without opportunities to earn the victory, but missing 11 free throws and 30 attempts from the field severely hurt their chances.
Looking forward to tonight, the Lobos face a New Mexico State (0-0, 2-2) team that has struggled to find consistency. Statistically speaking, the Lobos outclass the Aggies in many, if not all, of the major categories that are tracked. But, as anyone knows in rivalry games, anything can happen.
The Aggies currently hold a five-game win streak over the Lobos, and that could be extended if the Lobos can’t contain Trevelin Queen. The 6-foot-6 guard has emerged as a leader, much like Lyle, after sitting out part of the season due to NCAA rules.
Leading the Aggies with 16.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, he could create mismatches with his height and ability on the floor. The former NMMI player has caught the eye of many at the collegiate level and is even projected to be drafted towards the end of the first round of the NBA draft.
Both teams are dealing with injuries that could impact the game tonight. The Lobos may be without Carleton Bragg, who left the game against UTEP with a knee injury. At the same time, the Aggies will be without point guard A.J. Harris (finger) and guard Clayton Henry (thumb).
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. Mountain from the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, NM.