Arizona (7-3) will look to extend its current four game winning streak when the No. 23 ranked Wildcats visit New Mexico (3-7) in Albuquerque on Saturday.
Since the blunder in the Bahamas, which saw the Wildcats drop three consecutive games in as many days over Thanksgiving weekend, Arizona has been red hot. Sean Miller's team has put together an impressive stretch of games including wins against a Top-10 ranked Texas A&M team on a neutral court, an overtime victory over UNLV in Las Vegas and last week grinding out a win at home against a solid Alabama squad led by one of the best guards in the country in Collin Sexton.
Arizona was given a boost in personnel last week with the return of Sophomore guard Rawle Alkins, who made his season debut against Alabama after missing the first nine games with a foot injury. On Saturday Alkins and the Wildcats have an opportunity to build on their upward momentum against a Lobos team that has struggled so far this season.
New Mexico is 3-7 on the season and have had some bad losses including at home against Tennessee Tech. The Lobos are in a transition season under new head coach Paul Weir. They are a young team that relies heavily on fast-break points and they take a lot of 3 point shots. Arizona will need to focus on getting back defensively and contesting perimeter shots. New Mexico is desperate for a signature win and there is no better opportunity for the Lobos than against a top 25 team at home in front of what will sure to be a ruckus crowd.
New Mexico will have its hands full trying to slow down Trier, Ayton and Alkins. Deandre Ayton has been almost unstoppable on offense this year. The 7'1" freshman is averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats. Look for Ayton to get a lot of touches down low on Saturday against an undersized New Mexico team. The keys for the Wildcats to come out of "The Pit" with a win are to play composed -- don't let the hostile crowd result in turnovers or loss of confidence -- focus on limiting transition points and if all else fails offensively give the ball to Deandre Ayton and let him work.
Tip off at 6:00 p.m. MT
Watch on CBS Sports Network
This will be the 67th time Arizona plays at New Mexico (UA has won 35 of the previous 66 games).
Arizona beat New Mexico last year in McKale Center 77-46.