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Positive COVID-19 case within UNM women’s basketball, series with CSU postponed

The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team went from showdown to shutdown Friday morning after one of its players tested positive for COVID-19.

The Lobos’ two-game series at Colorado State scheduled for Friday and Saturday was postponed. A Mountain West release said rescheduled games will be announced when dates are finalized with both institutions.

Having the series postponed was a depressing development for the second–place Lobos (9-2, 6-2) and the conference-leading Rams (14-2, 10-2). The games would have played a large role in the MWC regular-season race and seeding for next month’s conference tournament.

“We were super excited,” UNM coach Mike Bradbury said. “Now we’re disappointed.”

UNM athletic director Eddie Nuñez said the team learned of the positive test Friday morning and the decision to postpone followed.

“The student-athlete has no symptoms and is doing fine,” Nuñez said. “We’ll continue to monitor her and the team will be tested again (Saturday). We’ll determine our next steps from there.”

Bradbury said the team will remain in Fort Collins in isolation until at least Sunday, pending further test results.

It remains to be seen whether the key series will be played as UNM has three other series (at Wyoming, Air Force and Utah State) over the next three weeks. The MWC tournament is scheduled to begin March 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“This whole season is a day-to-day operation,” Bradbury said when asked about rescheduling the series. “You cannot plan anything past what’s for lunch. If you get through that, you think about dinner. That’s it.”

COVID-19 has certainly impacted the Lobos, who have played all of their games on the road because of New Mexico’s coronavirus restrictions. UNM also had a January series at Utah State postponed after two positive tests (non-players) within its Tier 1 travel party. The team spent the ensuing week in quarantine in Logan, Utah.

New Mexico had two other games canceled when San Jose State opted out of its remaining women’s basketball schedule because of COVID issues.

Earlier this week UNM’s men’s basketball had its series at Colorado State postponed because of COVID issues, but Nuñez said positive tests within the school’s athletic program remain rare.

“We administered 307 tests this week with two positives,” he said. “There are going be some cases now that sports are starting up again. We just have to take care of our people and manage things as well as we can.”

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