WNIT Matchup Tonight, Lobos host Northern Arizona University

WNIT Matchup Tonight, Lobos host Northern Arizona University

Both teams [NAU, 21-13 overall, 13-5 in conference, UNM, 20-12, 12-6] come in with similar records, and similar styles, though what the fans see tonight might look a bit different.

75 Poins per game 75
+3.7 Scoring Margin +6.8
+1.9 Rebounding Margin -1.9
+1.0 Turnover Margin +0.6
42% 2 Pt FG % 51%
36% 3 Pt FG % 34%
38% % of FG from 3pt range 41%
7.8 Steals per game 8.3
45% 2 Pt FG Defense 47%
31% 3 Pt FG Defense 29%
22% FG with an assist 25%

The numbers for the Lobos are somewhat misleading for this game because the Duff twins will not be playing, and that removes two of UNM’s top three scorers, 3 Pt shooters—as well as the top two playmakers.  One of those spots will likely be filled by Aniya Augmon, which will add more speed/quickness, but change the focus to a more inside-oriented offense.  The other guard spot is likely to be filled by a committee, and whoever is having the hot game.

One option would be to put Jaylen Bates in the backcourt with Aniyah.  It would make for a very fast backcourt, but a much less experienced one.  Another option could be to go bigger, playing both Paula & Viane, where so far in the season it has been one or the other.  That would be more size, but not as much quickness.

NAU has eighty players 5’11” or taller, including their top six in minutes played.  Typically 4 or even 5 of them are on the court together.  Countering with a taller Lobo lineup makes some sense, but so does presenting a speed mismatch.  For a team with that much height across the lineup, their rebounding margin of only +1.9 is a bit surprising.  Rebounding will—as it has been for the Lobos all season—likely be the biggest factor in winning tonight or not.