Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - The top team in the Mountain West
Conference readies for the arrival of the Air Force Falcons on Wednesday
night, as the 15th-ranked New Mexico Lobos defend The Pit.
All alone atop the MWC standings with six wins in seven tries, the Lobos are
preparing to close out the first half of their conference slate by possibly
running their current win streak to three in a row. Over the weekend, New
Mexico beat up on visiting Nevada, 75-62, which means the Lobos have now won
six of their last seven outings and are an impressive 11-1 in their own
building. The lone home loss for UNM came against South Dakota State (70-65) a
few days before Christmas.
As for the Falcons, a team which has also done well at home in 2012-13 with 10
wins in 11 chances, they are actually one of the hottest teams in the MWC at
the moment with five straight victories. Since opening the league slate with
consecutive defeats versus Nevada and UNLV the Falcons have bounced back in
order to move into a second-place tie with Colorado State.
Over the weekend the Falcons boosted their confidence by outlasting
nationally-ranked San Diego State at home, 70-67, which might be a good sign
for the Academy heading into this meeting as well.
New Mexico has dominated the series between these two squads, winning 52 of
the previous 70 meetings and cranking out 30 wins in 34 chances at home over
the years. The Lobos, who have won 11 in a row over Air Force, will visit the
Academy next month to close out the regular season at Clune Arena.
The Falcons caught a few breaks when they suited up against SDSU the other
day, as the visitors were missing one of their leading scorers and another key
figure was playing with a wrist injury. But no matter what the circumstances,
the bottom line is that Air Force came out on top as Michael Lyons accounted
for 20 points and Todd Fletcher another 13. The defense for the Falcons kept
SDSU reeling out on the perimeter where the Aztecs converted a mere 2-of-19
attempts. While the defense in previous years has been the hallmark of the
Falcons, the squad has been a bit more lenient with 65.5 ppg, but still the
squad is outscoring those foes by more than six points per game. Lyons (18.1
ppg) and Fletcher (10.1 ppg) are both playing more than 30 minutes per game,
and for good reason.
New Mexico needed some time to pull away from the Wolf Pack on Saturday, but
eventually that's how the game played out with the Lobos converting 56.0
percent from the floor and 11-of-21 behind the 3-point line in the double-
digit home triumph. Hugh Greenwood responded with 15 points, seven rebounds
and six assists, while Demetrius Walker and Chad Adams checked in with 12 and
10 points, respectively. Alex Kirk was rather quiet offensively with just six
points, but he did make a stand at the defensive end with five blocked shots.
Kendall Williams, who was limited to nine points and five assists in the win
over the weekend, maintains his position as the top scorer on the team overall
with 13.8 ppg, accounting for 95 of the unit's 303 assists along the way. Tony
Snell (11.8 ppg) and Kirk (11.0 ppg) add some offensive punch as well.
The Sports Network