Game Time: UC Riverside comes to UNM. A Quick Comparison

UNM UC Riverside
W-L 24-7 17-16
PPG 75.4 61.9
O-PPG 64.0 62.4
Scoring Margin 11.4 -0.5
Rebound Margin 3.0 -3.1
TO Margin 2.0 -0.6
FT Attempt Margin 4.7 -5.5
Steals/Gm 9.9 8.6
Shots/ Gm 66 60
2 pt FG % 49% 45%
3 pf FG % 30% 26%
3 pt attempts/Gm 24 15
Returning Starters 3 6
Returning Players 6 10

The Lobos start off the season with a team that should be significantly more of a competition than the two exhibition games were. They are certainly experienced, and come off their first winning season in a while. The Highlanders have a roster that—like the Lobos—lists four 5th year seniors, including two first-team preseason all conference players, 6’2” Marina Ewodo from France, and former Lobo 6’0” guard/forward Jannon Otto. They actually return six starters—four who started the majority of the games last season, and two who did not play last season but had started the season before. All told, they return 10 players.
Last season the team did not use a deep bench, as five players averaged 32-36 min per game, and one was at 29+. Three others got into most the games, but for only short minutes. With more returning experience, a new coach, and the altitude—that may change this game.
Last season UCR did not stress three point shooting, preferring to rely upon an inside game supplemented by Jannon’s mid-range shooting. Only Ewodo shot better than 29% from distance on 2+ attempts per game.
Two matchups to watch:
–Both teams start new point guards.  UCR has a 5th year senior transfer from ODU, and UNM has started Naj Howell as a 5th yr senior transfer from UTEP in both games, with freshman Corina Carter splitting the PG minutes
–Riverside’s posts are the strength of their team, but have fewer to rotate through against the deeper and larger Lobo posts
Promotions: Tonight’s game is Freshman night, with several events focused on the UNM freshman class.