Aggies Host New Mexico and Missouri State
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  12/18/2012

The New Mexico State men's basketball team hosts No. 16/17 New Mexico, Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. inside the Pan American Center in the rivalry rematch. The Aggies also meet Missouri State, Saturday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in Las Cruces. Both games are AggieVision productions with Jeff Matthews and Glen Cerny. The games can be heard 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. The games are also available in Spanish with Edgar Gardell on Vista 98.7 FM.

Wednesday's game is shown live on Comcast across New Mexico, but taped delayed in Las Cruces until 10 p.m., live on Altitude Sports, ESPN3 and My50-TV in Albuquerque and tape delayed on Fox Sports Arizona until 1 a.m. Saturday's matchup is shown live on Comcast in New Mexico including Las Cruces, Altitude2, Fox Sports Arizona-Plus, KVIA (7.2 and 7.3) and ESPN3. 

New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies are 5-5 this season after falling at in-state rival No. 17/20 New Mexico, 73-58, Dec. 15. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 13.9 points per game. Senior forward Tyrone Watson adds 10.7 points per game, and senior forward Bandja Sy is contributing 8.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

Scouting New Mexico

The Lobos are 11-0 and have three players in double figures with junior guard Kendall Williams posting a team-high 13.4 points per game. Redshirt sophomore center Alex Kirk and junior guard Tony Snell are adding 12.0 and 11.5 points per game, respectively.

Series Notes

UNM leads the all-time series 114-95 after winning the first meeting of the year, 73-58, Dec. 15 in Albuquerque. The teams split the series during the 2011-12 season. Last year, each team won on the road. NM State won the first meeting of the year, 62-53, Nov. 16, 2011 in Albuquerque, and UNM won the second game, 89-69, Dec. 28, 2011 in Las Cruces.

Aggies Fall in The Pit

NM State fell at No. 17/20 New Mexico, 73-58, Dec. 15. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scored a team-high 14 points. Freshman center Sim Bhullar and sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen added nine points each, while sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had eight.

Last Game in Las Cruces

The Aggies stumbled against New Mexico in the rematch and fell, 89-69, Dec. 28, 2011 in Las Cruces. The in-state rivals split the season series. Forward Wendell McKines recorded a game-high 25 points and 15 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the year. Center Hamidu Rahman added a season-high 19 points.

Scouting Missouri State

The Bears are 2-8 overall this season. Missouri State lost to Valparaiso, 62-54, Dec. 15 in Springfield, Mo., and travels to Alabama A&M, Dec. 18, before making the trip to Las Cruces. Senior guard Anthony Downing has a team-high 13.3 points per game, while sophomore forward Christian Kirk adds 10.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest.

Series Notes

The Aggies and Bears have only met once before in the all-time series with Missouri State posting a 10-point win, 64-54, Dec. 12, 1950 in Springfield, Mo.

Rio Grande Rivalry

In the first game of the year against New Mexico, the Aggies turned in season-best performances. NM State recorded a season-low eight turnovers and a season-high 84.2 free-throw percentage (16-of-19).

Sy Makes SportsCenter's Top Ten Plays

Senior forward Bandja Sy made SportsCenter's Top Ten plays with a dunk at New Mexico, Dec. 15. On a fastbreak in the first half, Sy had a monstrous alley-oop from junior guard Kevin Aronis to make the No. 7 play of the night.

Aggies Looking for First Win over Ranked Team Since 2007

With No. 16/17 New Mexico coming to the Pan American Center, NM State is looking for its first win over a ranked team since Jan. 20, 2007. The Aggies defeated No. 13/15 Nevada, 80-73, in Las Cruces for its most recent win over a ranked team. Here's a look at the results from games against ranked teams the last seven seasons:

Date                Opponent                                 Result

1/20/07          No. 13/15 Nevada                  W, 80-73

3/3/07             at No. 9/10 Nevada               L, 65-69

3/16/07          vs. No. 11 Texas                      L, 67-79

11/12/07        at No. 10/13 Duke                  L, 61-86

11/23/07        vs. No. 15/16 Texas               L, 87-102

11/18/08        at No. 20 USC                           L, 60-73

12/3/08          at No. 25 Kansas                     L, 79-100

2/5/09             at No. 22 Utah State             L, 59-78

3/19/10          vs. No. 12 Michigan State   L, 67-70

3/2/11             No. 21/25 Utah State            L, 54-58

3/15/12          vs. No. 17 Indiana                  L, 66-79

12/15/12        at No. 17/20 New Mexico   L, 58-73

Nephawe Sidelined

Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe missed the first game against New Mexico in Albuquerque, Dec. 15, with an injury. He had surgery on his right hand, and his return to action is unknown at this time.

Aggie Bench Produces at New Mexico

Despite a shortened bench due the injury to junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe, the Aggie reserves were productive at New Mexico, Dec. 15, with a combined 18 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen tied a career high with nine points included a pair 3-pointers, and junior center Renaldo Dixon grabbed a season-high seven rebounds.

National Rankings for the Aggies

The Aggies are currently 24th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+8.2). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in seven of its 10 games. The Aggies are 45th in field goal percent defense (38.3) as of Dec. 16.

Against the WAC Competition

Currently, the Aggies are second in the conference in field goal percent defense (38.3) and 3-point field goal percent defense (29.5). NM State ranks third in scoring defense (60.9 points per game allowed), rebounding margin (+8.2), rebounding defense (30.4) and field goal percentage (44.1).

Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks sixth in field goal percentage (53.3) and eighth in steals (1.80 per game). Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller is fourth in free-throw percentage (86.7), and freshman center Sim Bhullar is eighth in blocked shots (1.40 per game) as of Dec. 17.

Aggies Earn First Road Win

NM State collected its first road of the season with a 58-52 victory at South Alabama, Dec. 4. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings led the Aggies in scoring with 13 points. Freshman center Sim Bhullar contributed 12 points off the bench for his third double-digit game of the year. Senior forward Bandja Sy recorded his second career double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, a career-high mark, along with a vital steal in the last 20 seconds of the game. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had nine points including two free throws to seal the game.

Aggies Notch Double-Doubles

NM State has recorded four double-doubles in 2012-13 with junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe leading the way with two double-doubles. His first double-double of the season occurred at Niagara, Nov. 18, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Nephawe also had a double-double against Louisiana, Nov. 23, with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.  Sophomore guard Daniel Mulling had his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds against Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Senior forward Bandja Sy posted  a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds at South Alabama, Dec. 4.

Crimson and White Defense is Stifling

The Aggie defense has been imposing in 2012-13. NM State is only allowing 60.9 points per game and has held opponents to 60 or fewer points in six of the 10 games.

Defense in the Menzies Era

In head coach Marvin Menzies' six seasons, the Aggie defense has continued to improve during his tenure. This year NM State has already held opponents to 60 or fewer points six times. Here' s a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.

Allowing 60 points or less

2012-13                6 games

2011-12                9 games

2010-11                8 games

2009-10                2 games

2008-09                3 games

2007-08                6 games

Aggies Control the Glass

NM State has consistently out-rebounded opponents this season. NM State is averaging 38.6 boards per game with a +8.2 rebounding margin. The Aggies have out-rebounded teams in seven of 10 games.

Ready, Aim, Fire

The Aggie offense is strong with a team field goal percentage of 44.1 percent. NM State has four players shooting over 50 percent this season including freshman center Sim Bhullar (62.2), junior forward Renaldo Dixon (52.9) sophomore guard Daniel Mullings (53.3) and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe (51.1). The Aggies have a better shooting percentage then their opponents in six of 10 games. 

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 10 games, the Aggies are averaging 24.7 attempts per game, 6.2 more attempts than their opponents.

Mullings Fuels the Offense

In his second season, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings has scored in double-figures six times. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Mullings has had three 20-point games this season and five in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in every game this season. Mullings is shooting 53.3 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in five games.

Watson's Senior Campaign Going Strong

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. Watson has scored in double-figures in five of the Aggies' games and has shot 44.4 percent or better in seven contests. The senior is also leading the team in assists with 26 including two five-assist games.

Sy Shoots and Scores

Senior forward Bandja Sy has been in double-digits for the Aggies in five games. In the win at South Alabama, Dec. 4, he posted his second career double-double with  11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

Nephawe Anchors the Inside Attack

Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe has two double-doubles this season. He has shot 40 percent or better in six games.

Young Aggies Set Career Highs

The Aggie underclassmen are contributing to the team early in the season. Freshman center Sim Bhullar has three double-digit games this season with a career-high 17 points against Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had a career-high 11 points versus Louisiana, Nov. 23. At Niagara, Nov. 18, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen scored a career-high nine points and dished a career-high three assists.

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. After nine games, Mullings is shooting 57.1 percent from the 3-point line (8-of-14).

Defense Dominates inside Pan Am

The Aggies held Northern New Mexico to just 37 points, Nov. 21. This was the first time since a 41-37 win over Cal State Fullerton, Jan. 4, 1988, that NM State held an opponent to under 40 points. The Crimson and White followed that performance with a season-high nine blocked shots versus Louisiana, Nov. 23.

Aronis Finds Long Range Touch

Junior guard Kevin Aronis is making an impact for the Aggies in his first season. He is tied with a team-high eight 3-point field goals this year, and has made at least two 3-pointers in three games. He scored a career-high 12 points against Louisiana, Nov. 23.

Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State

Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 107 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-107

Looking Ahead

The Aggies open the WAC slate on the road for the third straight year. NM State plays at UT Arlington, Dec. 29 at 6 p.m. and Louisiana Tech, Dec 31 at 6 p.m. 

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