Open Announce

New Mexico Opens Las Vegas Invitational with Thanksgiving Matchup with UAB

by Steve Kirkland

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team begins play in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational with a Thanksgiving matchup against UAB. Game time at the Orleans Arena is 5 p.m. MT (4 p.m. PT) and fans can watch on FS1 and listen on the Lobo Radio Network.

The two-day tournament also features San Francisco and Towson, who play in Thursday’s second semifinal. The winners will meet in the championship game on Friday at 9:30 pm MT (8:30 pm PT) on FS1, while the losers will play in the consolation game on Friday at 7:00 pm MT (6:00 pm PT) on FS2.

The Lobos (4-1) enter the tournament on a three-game win streak, having defeated Grambling State, Montana State and Western New Mexico during a three-game homestand. New Mexico is second in the Mountain West in scoring at 86.0 points per game and has five players averaging double figure scoring. Jaelen House (19.5 ppg) and Jamal Mashburn, Jr. (18.4 ppg) rank fourth and seventh, respectively, in the conference in scoring, while Gethro Muscadin (12.6 ppg), K.J. Jenkins (10.6 ppg) and Javonte Johnson (10.2 ppg) are also averaging in double figures.

The Blazers (4-1) are the preseason favorite in Conference USA. They have won all four of their home games this season with their lone loss coming at South Carolina.

Thursday’s game will be just the second all-time meeting between the schools. The Lobos won the only previous matchup, 97-94 in double overtime in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Charleston Classic. The Lobos are playing on Thanksgiving for just the third time in program history. UNM lost to Virginia Tech in the first round of the 2016 Wooden Legacy and lost to Santa Clara in overtime in the first round of the 2011 76 Classic in its only previous Thanksgiving games.

Following this week’s Las Vegas Invitational, the Lobos will play a home-and-home with New Mexico State. The rivalry series begins Nov. 30 in Las Cruces before the teams play Dec. 6 at The Pit.