Open Announce

Rio Grande Rivalry Returns to The Pit Saturday Night

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball team returns to The Pit on Saturday night for the first of two editions this season of the Rio Grande Rivalry as it hosts New Mexico State. Game time is 5:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network and on the Lobo Radio Network.

Saturday’s game is a Cherry Out and fans are encouraged to wear cherry to support the Lobos. As of noon on Friday, over 13,000 tickets have been sold for the game. Fans are encouraged to buy tickets and parking ahead of time at in order to save time and ensure they don’t miss out. Gates will open 90 minutes before tipoff at 3:30 p.m. for this game and the first 2,000 fans will receive a free cherry Lobos T-Shirt.

The Lobos (3-0) begin a four-game homestand after an 84-63 victory at SMU on Tuesday night, UNM’s largest margin of victory on the road in five seasons. Josiah Allick and Jaelen House each had 18 points to lead New Mexico. House (20.7 ppg) and Jamal Mashburn, Jr. (18.7 ppg) are the top two scorers in the Mountain West.

The Aggies (1-1) haven’t played in a week after a 67-64 loss at UTEP last Saturday, following a season-opening home win over Division II New Mexico Highlands. New Mexico State’s roster includes 16 newcomers and just three returners from last year’s WAC championship team. Deshawndre Washington leads the Aggies at 17.5 ppg and 11.0 rpg.

The Lobos lead the all-time series 123-103, including the 74-42 in Albuquerque and 38-18 in The Pit. The teams have met at least twice every season since 1960-61, with the exception of the pandemic-impacted 2020-21 season. Last year the teams split the season series with each team winning on the other’s home floor. The Lobos won 101-94 in Las Cruces before the Aggies won 78-76 in overtime at The Pit. The teams will meet again this season on Dec. 3 in Las Cruces.

Following Saturday’s game, the Lobos will continue the homestand next week with the Lobo Classic, the first regular-season tournament at The Pit since 2007-08. UNM will open the tournament on Friday by hosting Jacksonville State at 5 p.m., with North Dakota State and Northern Colorado playing in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. In the round-robin event, the Lobos will play NDSU on Saturday and Northern Colorado on Sunday.