The Lobos just hope the Cougars won’t be involved.
UNM is planning its annual postgame sendoff for seniors Amanda Best and Jessica Kielpinski, who will play their final regular-season home game.
Only problem is, BYU comes in with an opportunity to clinch the Mountain West Conference’s regular-season title. The Cougars (21-7, 13-1) have won 10 consecutive games and would love to make their final Pit appearance as members of the MWC a memorable one.
“You wouldn’t figure them to be overlooking us,” Lobo coach Don Flanagan said. “This is the best team I’ve seen BYU have in quite a few years and they’ll be highly motivated. This game will be a big challenge for us.”
New Mexico (10-16, 4-10) played the Cougars tough last month in Provo, trailing just 66-62 with five minutes remaining. BYU finished with a 10-2 run, however, on its way to compiling an 8-0 home record in MWC play.
The Cougars have made a habit of wearing opponents down with a combination of depth and aggressive defense. That trend held true Saturday when they erased a 16-point deficit and defeated San Diego State 56-52.
The Lobos have improved their play recently, however, and are looking forward to a shot at the first-place Cougars. BYU was in Albuquerque for last season’s UNM senior day and found itself on the short end of a 62-30 rout.
“I don’t see that happening again,” Flanagan said, “but I’m confident we’ll come out and compete.”