The Western New Mexico Men's Basketball team heads to Albuquerque to kick off the regular season against former Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) foes, Fort Lewis College and New Mexico Highlands University. Games will be played in The Pit at Dreamstyle Arena and the Davalos Basketball Center located on the University of New Mexico campus on Friday and Saturday.
The Mustangs come off a 95-44 exhibition loss against the University of Arizona last week. Senior guard Willie McCray finished with nine points, going 3-12 from the field, adding four rebounds, three assists, and four steals to lead the Mustangs. Senior transfer Leston Gordon finished 3-6 from the field for six points, while freshman Tony Avalos tallied seven points, one assist and one steal, going 3-5 from the field.
New Mexico Highlands enters the weekend coming off an 83-61 exhibition loss to the University of Evansville. The Cowboys were led by senior transfer Gerad Davis who racked up 20 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Redshirt junior Raquan Mitchell followed up with 15 points and five rebounds and senior Nnamdi Okoro grabbed 11 rebounds. The Cowboys shot 34 percent from the field and 21 percent from 3-point range in the loss.
Much like the Mustangs, the Cowboys welcome in NCAA Division I transfers, Gerad Davis (Northern Colorado), Bollo Ghanore (New Mexico State), and Raquan Mitchell (Colorado State) as well as a few incoming freshman. Last year's meeting saw the Cowboys take home a slim 85-81 win.
Defending RMAC regular season champions, the Fort Lewis Skyhawks have yet to play this season. After posting a 24-7 overall record, the Skyhawks look to make another championship run and NCAA tournament appearance.
Head Coach Bob Pietrack enters his fourth season at the helm, recording an impressive 78-18 record. The Skyhawks were tabbed third in the RMAC Preseason Poll, with senior Marquel Beasley named pre-season Defensive Player of the Year. In last year's meeting the Skyhawks took home a 75-62 win over the Mustangs.
Tip-off is set for 3 p.m on Friday in Davalos Basketball Center, and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Both games are set at Mountain Standard Time.