UNM Basketball: Lobos’ fight for tournament seeding continues in Boise

With only three games left in the regular season, the Lobos (17-11, 6-9) may need some luck to finish out the season with a .500 record in conference play. Two of their final three opponents currently sit above them in the standings, including Sunday’s opponent, Boise State (18-10, 10-6).

It doesn’t help that the Lobos are now in the middle of a three-game losing streak.

This season certainly hasn’t turned out the way anyone expected, and the issues have continued to mount for the program. If not for the off the court problems, the outcome could have been drastically different. At this point, the Lobos are looking ‘earning’ the 7th or 8th seed in for the conference tournament. If they end up with the 8th seed, they will face the 9th seed, and beyond that San Diego State. The Lobos and their fans will be hoping that the team ends up with the 7th seed and a matchup against the 10th seed, which is currently San Jost State.

They have to get there first, though.

The Broncos and Lobos met once earlier in the season, and a much different looking Lobo lineup won that game by two points. It’s fair to say that over the past two months, head coach Paul Weir has not gotten his team to play consistently. There have been glimpses of what could be, but there haven’t been enough of them.

JaQuan Lyle still leads the team in scoring, and arguably had his best game of the season against Boise the first time around. After shooting 10-17 from the floor, he finished the game with 31 points. With three poor performances in the past four outings, however, Lyle needs to find that same magic he did the first time out.

Of the three remaining games, this is one that could be a victory for the Lobos.

Looking at the Broncos’ recent results, it would be easy to assume that they’ve struggled. But a closer look would see losses to the top two programs in the Mountain West, San Diego State, and Utah State.

After some early struggles saw the Broncos fall to 3-4 in conference play, they went on a tear through the conference. Since January 15th, they have won 7 of 10 games and turned their season around. Guard Derrick Alston has been the most consistent player for Boise State this year and leads the team with 17.9 points per game. He had 20 points in the first game and will be a pain point for the Lobos to deal with.

Sunday’s game tips off from ExtraMile Arena in Boise at 2 p.m. (Mountain). The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.