UNM Basketball: Lobos face final road test against Air Force

Two games separate the Lobos (17-12, 6-10) from the Mountain West conference tournament. There’s not much time to build momentum heading into it, but they could manage to put something together that no one expects.

With games remaining against Air Force (10-18, 4-12) and Utah State (23-7, 12-5), it’s very likely that the Lobos will finish 7-11 in conference play, just like last year. Some folks will look at the overall record and say that there was an improvement, and while there was, this year’s team hasn’t had the same level of discipline, and it has adversely affected the outcomes on the court.

To add to the pile of bad news surrounding the team this year, news broke on Tuesday that Tavian Percy would miss the remainder of the season, leaving the Lobo squad even shorter on bench help as the season winds down.

On Wednesday night, the Lobos face the Falcons, hoping to find some sort of spark in order to snap their four-game losing streak. Seldom used freshmen Kurt Wegscheider and Emmanuel Kuac received valuable minutes during the loss to Boise State, and both showed glimpses of what the future could be like for the Lobos. Given the short bench, both could be in for another run over the last two games. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily help them now.

The Lobos have been abysmal for large parts of the season on the defensive end of the court, and have been regularly out-rebounded since the loss of Carlton Bragg. That may surprise some, especially with the height that the UNM lineups put out there, they just aren’t producing.

Air Force may be coming up at the right time for the Lobos, they’ve arguably performed worse than the Lobos have over the past two months. Having lost 9 of 10, they’re searching for just as many answers.

Led by Scottie Lavelle (15.6 ppg), the Falcons have three players currently averaging double digits, and they are pretty good from beyond the arc. That wasn’t on display during the first game, which the Lobos took 84-78, but don’t count them out. Currently, a 2.5 point favorite by ESPN, the game in Colorado Springs may end up going the Falcons way if the Lobos can’t find a way to make some stops on the defensive end. It doesn’t help that the Lobos are 2-8 away from The Pit this season, something that has taken a toll on the team.

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. (Mountain) from Clune Arena.