Us fans are lucky to get one more Gonzaga Women’s Basketball game before we head into the New Year as they host the New Mexico Lobos starting at 4pm EST and streamable on ESPN+. Let’s quickly take look at the opposition since I’m late getting this article as I traverse the dangerous world of job interviews.
For a program that made the tournament consistently in the early aughts, the Lobos have not been able to continue that success in recent years. Last season, the Lobos finished with a 21-13 record and placed 3rd in the conference. Heading into the 23-24 season, New Mexico was picked to finish 6th in the Mountain West Conference and had no players selected to the Preseason Team of the Year where unlike other conferences, the MWC only selects five players.
Heading into this game, New Mexico possesses a 9-3 record with loses against Southern Utah at home along with neutral site defeats to Montana State and Georgia Tech, which isn’t great considering their strength of schedule is rated as -8.5. The team plays an above average pace of 71.9 (for comparison, Gonzaga is rated 68.7) although they rank fairly low in points per game with 64.9 while possessing a stout defense that only gives up 59.3 points per game. Don’t expect a pretty shooting game from New Mexico as they make just 37.6% of their total field goals to rank 288th in the nation that is cratered by their three-point efficiency of just 27.2% where they shoot nearly 24 attempts per game, which ranks 65th.
Despite the unappealing shooting numbers, the Lobos share the scoring around as they have had five different scoring leaders in games this season and have nearly 5 players averaging double digits. Those include Paula Reus (12.3), Nyah Wilson (12.3), Viane Cumber (11.3), Aniyah Augmon (11.0), and Charlotte Kohl (9.6). Paula Reus has been finding her offensive flow as of late with five double-digit scoring games and set her career high in scoring with 25 against Eastern Illinois. Watch out for Kohl down low as the 6’5” senior averages nearly 9 rebounds per game along with 2.1 blocks.
Sorry for the short article; I promise the recap will be longer but it’s time to watch this matchup!