Aggies Host Denver on ESPNU Wednesday
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  01/22/2013

The New Mexico State men's basketball team concludes its three-game home stand against Denver, Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 9 p.m. in Las Cruces on ESPNU with Trey Bender and Stephen Howard. The game 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 game is also available in Spanish with Edgar Gardell on Vista 98.7 FM.

New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies have won six straight games and have a 12-8 overall record and 6-2 WAC record following a 70-53 win over San Jose State, Jan. 19. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 14.7 points per game. Senior forwards Tyrone Watson and Bandja Sy are also in double figures with 10.7 and 10.6 points per contest, respectively.

Scouting Denver

The Pioneers are 11-7 and 7-1 in the WAC. Denver is on a seven-game winning streak after a 68-57 win over Utah State, Jan. 19. Junior forward Chris Udofia leads the Pioneers with 12.3 points per game, and sophomore forward Royce O'Neal adds 12.1 points per game.

Series Notes

The Aggies have a 12-5 lead in the all-time series. Denver won the last meeting, 81-58, Feb. 19, 2005 in Las Cruces.

Aggies Overpower San Jose State

The Aggies won their sixth consecutive game with a 70-53 victory over San Jose State, Jan. 19 in Las Cruces. Senior forward Bandja Sy led the Aggies with 16 points on 50 percent shooting (6-of-12), and he had eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings and senior forward Tyrone Watson were also in double digits with 13 points and 10 points, respectively. The Aggies posted a 35-18 halftime lead over the Spartans. This was the second straight game NM State has held opponents to 18 points in the first half.

Aggies Down Utah State 64-51

NM State snapped Utah State's 13-game winning streak, the second longest in the country, with a 64-51 victory, Jan. 17 in Las Cruces. The Aggies had four players in double figures with senior forward Bandja Sy scoring a game-high 16 points. Sy was 7-of-9 from the field to lead the Aggies to a 57.8 field goal percentage (26-of-45). The Crimson and White have won the last five straight with senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings contributing 12 points each. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller added 10.

Sy Has the Aggies Streaking

In the Aggies' six-game win streak, senior forward Bandja Sy has increased his contributions significantly. He is averaging 18.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Sy is shooting 58.3 percent from the field (42-of-72) and 33.3 percent from the 3-point line (4-of-12) in the last six games.

Mullings Lights up Opponents

Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the Aggies in scoring in 2012-13 with 14.7 points per game and 16.3 points per game in WAC games. He has scored in double figures in the last 12-of-13 games.

Ross-Miller Right on Target

Sophomore point guard K.C. Ross-Miller is learning on the job this season. He ranks second on the team with 54 assists. Ross-Miller has three six-assist games this season. In WAC games, he is averaging 2.6 assists per game.

Bhullar Filling the Gap in the Paint

Since entering the starting lineup, Dec. 15, freshman center Sim Bhullar is averaging 11.6 points per game. He has eight double-digit games this season and has two 20-point games. He scored a career-high 25 points against Missouri State, Dec. 22, and 20 versus Texas State, Jan. 5. Bhullar leads the Aggies in blocked shots with 40.

National Rankings for the Aggies

The Aggies are currently 28th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+7.1). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 14 games. The Aggies are 34th in blocked shots per game (5.1). Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is ranked 37th in steals per game (2.2) and 51st in field goal percentage (53.3). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is 59th in blocked shots per game (2.0) as of Jan. 20.

Against the WAC Competition

Currently, the Aggies rank second in the conference in blocked shots (5.0 per game) and field goal percent defense (40.1) and third in rebounding margin (+6.3) and scoring defense (63.6).

Individually, freshman center Sim Bhullar ranks first in the league in field goal percentage (62.4) and fifth in blocked shots (1.95 per game). Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks tied for second in steals (2.16), fourth in field goal percentage (53.2), seventh in scoring (14.9) and eighth in scoring (14.7). Senior forward Bandja Sy is seventh in rebounding (6.9).

In WAC games only, the Aggies lead the conference in blocked shots (6.57). NM State ranks second in rebounding margin (+3.9) and scoring offense (71.0) and third in field goal percentage (48.8), defensive rebounds (25.29) and rebounding offense (36.6).

Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks first in steals (3.14), fourth in scoring (16.7) and ninth in field goal percentage (53.7). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is first in field goal percentage (61.1), second in blocked shots (3.0) and ninth in rebounding (6.1). Senior forward Bandja Sy ranks fifth in rebounding (7.4), sixth in scoring (14.7) and seventh in field goal percentage (54.8). Senior forward Tyrone Watson is eighth in assists (3.29) and assist to turnover ratio (1.44) and tied for ninth in steals (1.43).Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller is tied for ninth in steals (1.43), and 10th in assists (3.00) and assist to turnover ratio (1.40), and junior forward Renaldo Dixon is tied for eighth in blocks (1.14) as of Jan. 21.

Aggies Control the Glass

NM State has consistently out-rebounded opponents this season. NM State is averaging 38.2 boards per game with a +7.1 rebounding margin. The Aggies have out-rebounded teams in 14 games.

Aggies Survive Road Trip and Sweep

NM State escaped Idaho with a 71-70 win, Jan. 12, after sophomore guard Daniel Mullings hit a free throw with 3.5 seconds remaining in regulation. With the game tied, 70-70, with 3.5 seconds left, Mullings was fouled while trying to inbound the ball. He sank the second of two free throws to give the Aggies the lead. Mullings was 3-of-4 at the line and ended with night with eight points and three steals. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had a career-high 16 points, and freshman center Sim Bhullar also had 16 points. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 14 points including a late basket in the final 10 seconds. The Aggies recorded a season-low four turnovers.

Aggies Earn Road Win at Seattle in 2OT

NM State recorded its first WAC road win of the year with an 83-82 victory in double overtime at Seattle, Jan. 10. Senior forward Tyrone Watson scored a career-high 26 points. This was the first multiple overtime game for the Aggies since the triple overtime thriller against Boise State in the 2008 WAC Championship game. Senior forward Bandja Sy contributed 23 points including a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force the first overtime. En route to his career-high performance, Watson scored 14 points in the second half. He added five assists and seven steals, which helped the Aggies to a season-high 15 steals. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings also helped defensively with seven steals along with 19 points and seven rebounds.

Overtime Games

The double overtime game at Seattle, Jan. 10, was NM State's first overtime game of the season. It was also the first multiple overtime game since the 2007-08 season. This was the first multiple overtime win for the Aggies since the 1997-98 season, when NM State defeated Cal State Fullerton, 89-87, Jan. 8, 1998 in double overtime. The Aggies are 4-5 in overtime games under head coach Marvin Menzies.

Ross-Miller Has Career Night at Idaho

Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller helped the Aggies to a sweep on their most recent road trip with a career-high 16 points at Idaho, Jan. 12. He was 5-of-10 from the field, both personal-best marks, and it was his first multiple 3-point game (2-of-5).

Watson Leads Aggies at Seattle

Senior forward Tyrone Watson scored a career-high 26 points in the 83-82 double overtime win at Seattle, Jan. 10. He scored 14 points in the second half and eight points in the overtime periods, which was half of the Aggies' points. Watson was 10-of-18 from the field, both career-high marks, and 6-7 at the free-throw line. He added a season-high two blocked shots along with a career-best seven steals, which led to a season-high 15 steals for the Aggies, in a career-high 47 minutes of action. In the overtimes, Watson was 3-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 at the line. This was Watson's second 20-point game of his career, and both have occurred this season.

Aggies Notch Double-Doubles

NM State has recorded five double-doubles in 2012-13 with junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe and senior forward Bandja Sy leading the way with two double-doubles each. Nephawe's first double-double of the season occurred at Niagara, Nov. 18, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He 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, and 16 points and 10 rebounds against Texas State, Jan. 5.

Ready, Aim, Fire

The Aggie offense is strong with a team field goal percentage of 45.9 percent. NM State has four players shooting over 50 percent this season including freshman center Sim Bhullar (59.7), sophomore guard Daniel Mullings (53.3), junior forward Renaldo Dixon (52.2) and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe (51.1). The Aggies have a better shooting percentage than their opponents in 12 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 20 games, the Aggies are averaging 24.2 attempts per game, 6.8 more attempts than their opponents.

Crimson and White Defense is Stifling

The Aggie defense has been imposing in 2012-13. NM State is only allowing 63.1 points per game and has held opponents to 60 or fewer points in nine of the 20 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 nine times. Here's a look at how this year's team compares to previous squads.

Allowing 60 points or less

2012-13                9 games

2011-12                9 games

2010-11                8 games

2009-10                2 games

2008-09                3 games

2007-08                6 games

Mullings Fuels the Offense

In his second season, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings has scored in double-figures 15 times. He recorded his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus Southern Miss, Dec. 1. Mullings has had six 20-point games this season and eight in his career. His shooting has improved from a season ago with 40 percent or better in every game but two this season. Mullings is shooting 44.8 percent from the 3-point line. He also has three or more assists in nine games.

Nephawe Sidelined

Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe has missed the last 11 games with an injury. He had surgery on his right hand, and his return to action is unknown at this time.

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 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 10 of the Aggies' games and has shot 44.4 percent or better in 14 contests. The senior leads the team in assists with 59 including three five-assist and one six-assist games.

Sy Shoots and Scores

Senior forward Bandja Sy has been in double-digits in scoring for the Aggies in 11 games and in double-figures in rebounding in four 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. Sy recorded his third career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds versus Texas State, Jan. 5. That performance followed a career-high 25 points against UTSA, Jan. 3.

Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State

Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 114 career wins 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-114

Looking Ahead

The Aggies head back on the road to start the second round of WAC games at Texas State, Jan. 31 in San Marcos, Texas, and UTSA, Feb. 2 in San Antonio, Texas.

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