Nevada will be a tough challenge as the Wolf Pack looks for revenge

New Mexico at No. 6 Nevada
Feb. 9, 2019, 4pm MT

Watch: CBS Sports Network 
Isabel Gonzalez

New Mexico’s biggest victory this season came on Jan. 5 when the Lobos sent the Nevada Wolf Pack home with an 85-58 loss. New Mexico was the underdog and stunned college basketball fans by upsetting the then-No.5/6 team.

That loss is the only one the Wolf Pack carries in its 22-1 overall record, 9-1 in the conference. The team will be looking for revenge this weekend as the Lobos travel to Reno for a Saturday game. 

Since losing in Albuquerque, Nevada picked up eight victories. Meanwhile, the Lobos have gone 2-6.

Last encounter recap: New Mexico 85, Nevada 58

New Mexico (10-12, 4-6 Mountain West)
At the beginning of the season, New Mexico’s biggest struggle seemed to be the defense. The style keeps constantly changing to adjust based on the situation, but now the team seems to be struggling when it comes to offense.

During their 68-66 loss to Utah State on Jan. 26, the Lobos shot at 27.59 percent during the first half. Things didn’t improve with their 70-82 loss to Fresno State last week as New Mexico only managed to shoot at 31.9 percent from the field. The Lobos attempted 37 shots from beyond the arc but only made eight.

Their shooting improved during their 83-70 win over the San Diego State Aztecs. New Mexico shot over 50 percent during each half and finished at 53.8 percent from the field. The Lobos held the Aztecs to 38.24 percent during the second period.

Senior Anthony Mathis leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.8 points per game. Mathis scored 17 points during the SDSU game, but all of these points came during the second half. 

Nevada Wolf Pack (22-1, 9-1 Mountain West)
The Wolf Pack, currently ranked No. 6 in the AP and USA Today Coaches poll, is one of four teams in DI basketball with only one loss this season. The 22-1 record is the best in school history.

The team will be enjoying home court advantage, which has allowed the Wolf Pack to win its last 14 games (11 this season) at Lawlor Events Center.

Nevada’s latest victory was a 98-82 win over Colorado State. Senior Jordan Caroline scored a season-high 40 points, 30 of these came during the first period. His career high is 45 points, which he got at New Mexico during  his sophomore season.

Caroline and teammate Caleb Martin lead the team by averaging 19.3 points per game each. Both have earned the Mountain West Player of the Week honor three times each.

When Nevada lost in Albuquerque in January, the Lobos’ zone defense limited Martin to only eight points. He missed his first seven field goal attempts. This same defense made the Wolf Pack finish the night with 33.3 percent shooting from the field and only four successful three-pointers. That type of struggle doesn’t sound like the team who currently leads the conference by averaging 82.1 points per game, but that struggle allowed the Lobos to pull the upset in January. Can the Lobos shake the Wolf Pack again?