Lobos look to bounce back in LA

New Mexico will play Saint Mary’s at Staples Center as part of the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. Isabel Gonzalez/The Lobo Lair

Isabel Gonzalez

New Mexico vs Saint Mary’s
Dec. 7, 2018 –
5 p.m. MT
Los Angeles, Calif. STAPLES Center
Where to watch: 
New Mexico head coach Paul Weir said he was sick to his stomach. Senior Anthony Mathis said he was truly embarrassed. Friday gives both of them, and the rest of the Lobos, a chance for redemption.
After Tuesday’s 100-65 loss to the New Mexico State Aggies, UNM is hoping to bounce back by taking a win over the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Friday afternoon. This game is set to be played at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. as part of the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.
Friday will be the third time the two teams meet. Both of the previous encounters went positively for the Lobos:

  • Dec. 17, 1968 (Albuquerque) 77-55 win
  • Dec. 28, 2001 (Albuquerque) 72-62 win

The Lobos are currently 4-2 overall with both losses coming from the Aggies. The cherry and silver team is in the middle of a three-game stretch on the road.
Mathis leads offensively by averaging 15.7 points per game. His weapon has been his ability to shoot from beyond the arc. He’s been shooting with 55.8 percent accuracy and has made a total of 24 three-pointers. His best game this season was on Dec. 1 when he made seven three-pointers and a total of 23 points, helping his team take an 85-75 win against Bradley.
Redshirt sophomore Vance Jackson and Junior Corey Manigault follow closely, averaging 13 and 12.8 points respectively. Although he made the trip to LA, how much playing time Manigault gets on Friday is yet to be determined.
Before the NMSU game, Manigault got into a scuffle with some players from the opposite team. Punches were thrown and on Thursday morning, Weir sent out a statement.
“At no point has anyone in our program ever been encouraged to behave in that fashion and much like the outcome of the game itself, I am embarrassed,” read part of the statement. “Any member of this team who acts that way will have consequences and this will be no different.”
The Aggies are a common opponent this season for the Lobos and the Gaels. Saint Mary’s faced them on Nov.14 in Las Cruces and left with a 73-58 win.
The Gaels were on a four game losing streak but then found themselves getting back-to back victories. They are currently 5-4, with their latest results being a 93-61 win against Bethune-Cookman. This was their biggest victory margin of the season. It was possible thanks to Jordan Hunter having the best night of his career with a career-high 24 points and ten rebounds (his first double-double of the season). He also had four assists and three blocks.
Teammate Jordan Ford also showed up strong offensively, adding 23 points. Jordan, a junior guard, leads the team overall by averaging 22.3 point per game.