Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Air Force Now Is Must-Win for Lobos.(Sports)

Byline: Mark Smith Journal Staff Writer

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. Air Force and must-win?

Not exactly terms that University of New Mexico men's basketball fans have uttered together for oh ever.

But that could be the case when the Lobos visit the Academy tonight in a Mountain West Conference game, one which looms large for UNM.

It's not that the Falcons (6-15, 1-6) are much better than in any of their other few-win seasons. Sure, they've been a spunky bunch, capable of taking a team or two to the wire and pulling off the occasional upset. But what's new about that?

No, the opposition isn't what's crucial for the Lobos (13-7, 3-4). UNM has seen the enemy, and it's certainly not this branch of the armed forces.

"We've got to stop beating ourselves," says Lobos senior post Brian Smith. "This isn't a we'll-see game; this is a must-have game. We have to stop this losing streak. For us to have a chance to make a run at the title, we need this one."

New Mexico needs to find a way out of its slump, which has resulted in five losses in the last six games. …

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