Aggies Celebrate Thanksgiving with Two Home Games
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  11/20/2012

The New Mexico State men's basketball team returns home for a pair of games inside the Pan American Center during Thanksgiving week. NM State hosts Northern New Mexico, Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. in the final game of the 2K Sports Classic. The Aggies host Louisiana, Friday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in a game in memory of former Aggie Kelsey Crooks. The games are available on the Aggie Sports Network and KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip.

New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies are 1-3 this season after a rough road trip to Niagara Falls, N.Y. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team in both scoring and rebounding with 17.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Senior forward Tyrone Watson supplies 14.8 points per game. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe and senior forward Bandja Sy are contributing 7.8 and 7.5 points per game, respectively.

Scouting Northern New Mexico

The Eagles are 3-7 overall this season. Northern New Mexico lost to Fort Lewis, 83-52, Nov. 15, Adams State College, 75-55, Nov. 17 and New Mexico Highlands, 103-59, Nov. 18. The Eagles host Western State College, Nov. 20, before meeting the Aggies. The Eagles have three players in double figures with sophomore forward/center Orlando Echave supplying 11.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Junior guards Matthew Brito and Gabriel Martinez are averaging 10.6 and 10.5 points per game, respectively.

Series Notes

The Aggies have a 1-0 all-time lead in the series with Northern New Mexico. NM State won the first-ever meeting, 100-68, Feb. 14, 2012 in Las Cruces.

Previous Meeting

The Aggies started their final four-game home stand with a 100-68 win over Northern New Mexico, Feb. 14, 2012 in Las Cruces. All five Aggie starters were in double-figures with forward Bandja Sy leading the way with 19 points. Center Hamidu Rahman added 18 points and eight rebounds. Guard Daniel Mullings scored 14 points, and forward Tyrone Watson supplied 13 in the Aggies' first 100-point game since the 2008-09 season. Guard Hernst Laroche was also in double-digits with 12 points.

Scouting Louisiana

The Ragin' Cajuns are 1-2 overall following losses at Texas Southern, 74-71, Nov. 16 and Boise State, 63-57, Nov. 18. ULL hosts Southern (New Orleans), Nov. 21, prior to the matchup with the Aggies. Junior forward Bryant Mbamalu has a team-high 14.0 points per game, and sophomore guard Elfrid Payton adds 13.7 points per game. Junior forward Elridge Moore is providing 12.7 points per game.

Series Notes

The Ragin' Cajuns have a 10-4 advantage in the all-time series, but the Aggies have won the last two meetings in the series. NM State and Louisiana met twice during the 2010-11 season with the Aggies taking both contests, 92-76, Nov. 12, 2010 in Lafayette, La., and 82-76, Dec. 21, 2010 in Las Cruces.

Previous Meeting

Guard Gordo Castillo scored 20 points to lead NM State past Louisiana, 82-76, Dec. 21, 2010 at the Pan American Center. Christian Kabongo added 17 points and Hernst Laroche scored 19 for the Aggies, who won their fourth straight game.

Mullings Earns 2K Sports Classic All-Tournament Team Honors

Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings was named to the Niagara subregional 2K Sports Classic All-Tournament Team. He averaged 24 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games in Niagara Falls, N.Y. He joined Bryson Johnson and Mike Muscala of Bucknell (MVP) and Juan'ya Green and Antoine Mason of Niagara.  

Aggies Falter at Niagara 86-83

NM State let a second-half lead slip away and fell to Niagara, 86-83, in the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project, Nov. 18. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scored a season-high 26 points, just two shy of his career high, for the Aggies and was named to the all-tournament team. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe contributed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, which ties a career-high mark. This was his first double-double since March 2, 2011. Senior forward Bandja Sy was also in double-digits with 10 points. Off the bench, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen had a career-high nine points, while senior forward Tyrone Watson supplied eight points, six rebounds and five assists.

Mullings Has Season-High, Aggies Fall to Bucknell

The Aggies opened the Niagara Falls subregional of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project with a 62-49 loss to Bucknell, Nov. 17. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings paced the Aggies with a 22 points and team-high six rebounds. Senior forward Tyrone Watson was also in double figures with 13 points. NM State was held under 50 points for only the second time in the Marvin Menzies era. The last time the Aggies scored less than 50 points occurred in a 59-49 loss at Utah State, Jan. 22, 2011.

Aggies Notch Double-Doubles

Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe recorded the first double-double of the season for the Aggies at Niagara, Nov. 18. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds, which ties a career-high mark. It was his first double-double since his freshman season. 

Hard Work Pays Off for Mullings

After an off-season of time spent in the gym working on his shot, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is seeing the rewards. He has started the season with a 5-of-6 shooting performance from the 3-pointer line. Mullings only made five 3-pointers during his entire freshman season.

Aggies Win Home Opener 81-56

NM State defeated Southeastern Louisiana, 81-56, in the 2012-13 home opener inside the Pan American Center, Nov. 15. Senior forward Tyrone Watson directed the Aggies with a career-high 24 points. Watson was 7-of-10 from the field and 10-of-10 at the free-throw line in 24 minutes of action. Freshman center Sim Bhullar was also in double-digits for the first time with 13 points, and he grabbed seven rebounds. Off the bench, junior guard Kevin Aronis added eight points on 2-of-3 shooting from the 3-point line.

Aggies Stumble in Season Opener at Oregon State

NM State opened the 2012-13 season with a 71-62 loss at Oregon State in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project in Corvallis, Ore., Nov. 11. The Aggies had three players in double figures with senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scoring 14 points each. Senior forward Bandja Sy nearly had a double-double with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe added nine points and seven rebounds.

Aggie Aggressiveness Leads to the Line

The Crimson and White are continuing the trend of getting to the free-throw line in 2012-13. In four games, the Aggies are averaging 27.8 attempts per game, 9.3 more attempts than their opponents.

Aggies Crash the Glass

NM State has out-rebounded opponents in three of its first four games. The Aggies have a +6.5 rebounding margin. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is averaging 6.8 rebounds per game, and senior forward Bandja Sy adds 6.3 rebounds per contest.  

Watson's Senior Campaign off to a Strong Start

In his final season in the Crimson and White, senior forward Tyrone Watson is taking over a leadership role for the Aggies. He scored a career-high 24 points in the home opening win over Southeastern Louisiana, Nov. 15. He made two 3-pointers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career against Bucknell and Niagara.

Mullings Produces on Both Sides of the Court

Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings picked up right where he left off in 2011-12. The Toronto, Ontario native is averaging a team-high 17.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Sy Looks to End Career with a Stellar Season

Senior forward Bandja Sy began his final season in Las Cruces with a 12-point and nine-rebound showing in the season opener at Oregon State. He made the Aggies' lone 3-pointer and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, which is double his average from a year ago (4.4).

Young Aggies Set Career Highs

The Aggie underclassmen are contributing to the team early in the season. Freshman center Sim Bhullar had a career-high 13 points seven rebounds in the home opener against Southeastern Louisiana, Nov. 15. At Niagara, Nov. 18, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen scored a career-high nine points and dished a career-high three assists.

Aggies Cruise in Exhibition Win 98-49

NM State rolled to a 98-49 win over Western New Mexico in its lone exhibition game of the season, Nov. 5, in Las Cruces. The Aggies had five players in double figures with senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings providing 13 points each. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 12 points, junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe chipped in 11 and redshirt freshman guard Eric Weary had 10. NM State utilized its size advantage for a 20-rebound edge on the boards, 46-26, and Sy grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. The Aggies shot the ball well and recorded a 57.1 field goal percentage and 45.5 3-point percentage.

A Look Back at the Past Season

In 2011-12, the Aggies posted a 26-10 overall record. They were only one win away from tying the school record for wins in a season. The 26 wins were the most since the 1992-93 season, and it was the 25th 20-win season in program history. The Aggies started the season 4-0, for only the third time since 1992-93. The Crimson and White won 2012 WAC Tournament, which was the third in school history and second title in three years, and earned the 19th NCAA Tournament berth in school history.

Nationally, the Aggies ranked No. 3 in rebounding margin (+8.5), No. 11 in scoring offense (78.1), No. 25 in field goal percentage (47.4) and No. 27 in scoring margin (+9.8) in the NCAA in 2011-12. Individually, Daniel Mullings was one of only 13 players with a triple-double in the season.

Newcomers in Las Cruces

The Aggies have five newcomers on the squad this season with junior guard Kevin Aronis, freshman center Sim Bhullar, freshman forward Matej Buovac, freshman forward Aaron Kubinski and sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller. NM State also has three redshirts returning with junior forward/center B.J. West, freshman guard Eric Weary and freshman guard Emery Coleman.

Previewing the WAC

NM State was voted to win the WAC title in the WAC Coaches' Preseason poll and second in the media poll. Senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings earned Preseason All-WAC honors. Mullings was a first team pick and Watson was a second team selection in the coach's ballots.

The Slate for 2012-13

The Aggies have 16 regular season home games scheduled for the 2012-13 season in the Pan American Center. NM State is set to play in three nationally televised games on ESPNU at Oregon State (Nov. 11), against Denver (Jan. 23) and at Utah State (Feb. 16).

Home Sweet Home

NM State had a solid home court advantage in 2011-12 at the Pan American Center and finished with a 14-3 record. In WAC play, the Aggies posted a 6-1 home record.

Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State

Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 102 career wins in five seasons at NM State. He ranks fifth in school history, and directed the Aggies to their third 20-win season in his tenure in 2011-12.

All-Time Winningest Coaches (by victories)

Lou Henson-289

Neil McCarthy-229

Jerry Hines-157

Presley Askew-135

Marvin Menzies-103

Looking ahead

The Aggies have their first rivalry game of the season when NM State travels to El Paso, Texas, for face UTEP, Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. NM State then hosts Southern Mississippi, Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Pan American Center.

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