The battle of 0-3 teams kicks off tonight, as the Utes travel down to New Mexico for a game against the New Mexico Lobos. Utah, coming off an embarrassing loss to Colorado State Tuesday, will be looking for their first conference win. The Utes, who are 0-3, are off to their worst conference start in 54 years, where they started the conference season 0-4. Let's hope they don't match that mark tonight, though the odds are stacked against a Utes victory.
The Lobos, like the Utes, have struggled this season. They're 0-3 in conference play, including a home loss to Colorado State. However they took Air Force to the wire Tuesday and have been far more impressive on the season than Utah. The Lobos are currently 11-7 on the season.
Utah's coming off a 73-57 loss to Colorado State in Fort Collins Tuesday night. That loss was Utah's fifth in a row and their sixth of seven, marking one of the worst starts in program history. Utah is winless on the road this season with a road record of 0-5. The Lobos on the other hand are coming off a 65-57 loss to Air Force in Colorado Springs. During the first half of that game, New Mexico had built a double digit lead, only to see it evaporate in a matter of minutes. New Mexico is 10-1 at home this season, with their lone loss coming to Colorado State. Utah is 23-35 on the road against New Mexico all-time.
J.R. Giddens, a transfer from Kansas, has been injured the past two games and his loss has hurt New Mexico's production. He's the Lobos leading scorer with 17.7 points per game and is second in rebounding, with 6.1 rebounds per game. Junior Tony Danridge is second in scoring with 12.2 points.
The Lobos offense has been pretty solid this season, as they average 78 points per game on 47% shooting. This should be a concern for Utah, as their defense has not been able to contain opposing team's offenses. Another major concern for Utah will be the Lobos three point shooting, though they only shoot 37% from behind the arc. And while this number is not great, Utah's three point defense is so poor that the Lobos could have a field day from that position. Don't be surprised if -- like the CSU, TCU and UNLV games -- New Mexico shoots a season high from three point range.
Utah rarely wins in The Pit, especially recently and I don't see that changing this season. The Lobos will roll and Utah will be lucky to make it a game.
Lobos win 75-56