The New Mexico State basketball team opens the regular season on the road at cross-border rival UTEP at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The Aggies then host Boise State in the home opener at 6 p.m. on Thursday and finish the week at Loyola Marymount at 3 p.m. on Nov. 16.
The Miners opened the 2013-14 season with a 75-58 win over UT Permian Basin on Friday night. Last season, UTEP was playing to defend its conference title from the 2011-12 season, but came up short and finished the year with a 22-10 record and an appearance in the CUSA semifinals. UTEP missed three key players in 2012-13, but is seeing Jenzel Nash and Kristine Vitola work their way back into the mix after ACL injuries. UTEP returns four starters & seven letterwinners overall from the squad while adding seven newcomers.
The Miners and the Aggies have met 83 times in NM State program history. The Aggies hold the series 50-33 all time while splitting the two meetings of 2012. First, The Aggies claimed a 69-68 win over the defending Conference USA Miners in the Pan American Center. UTEP made a strong rebuttal in El Paso with a 66-44 win over NM State.
Former WAC opponent BSU finished the season 11-19 last year and 4-12 in the Mountain West. Playing only just one game this season, the Broncos must meet Lewis-Clark State on Monday before traveling to the Pan Am on Thursday. Boise State lost its season opener to Southern Utah over the weekend 90-86 at home, making the Aggie its first road opponent of the season.
The Aggies are behind in the series 10-14 and last met in January of 2012. The meeting ended with a 56-53 loss to the Broncos just one year removed from sharing a conference.
LMU opened the season just up the road at New Mexico over the weekend and fell 69-65. That game came after an 82-51 exhibition win over Cal State San Bernadino. LMU must travel to Utah State on Wednesday, Nov. 13 before opening the home schedule against NM State on Saturday.
LMU and the Aggies have met just twice in program history with NM State taking both games. Last season, the Aggies season opener was against the Lions and ended with a nail-biting 77-76 overtime win for NM State.
About the Aggies
The Aggies opened the season just a week ago when they ran past Western New Mexico 75-60 in an exhibition game. With no seniors on the roster, NM State saw two freshmen and two sophomores lead the pack with a combined 58 points.
Redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin had 12 points in her season debut, but it was freshman Moriah Mack and sophomore Abby Scott that led all scorers with 16 points each on the night. The Aggies finished shooting 32.4 percent from the floor and saw freshman Vanessa Garner earn her first double-digit scoring game as an Aggie with 14 points.
NM State returns two starters from last year and look for replace senior starters Gilbreath and Kelsie Rozendaal. Sophomores Abby Scott and Weber stand as the top returners for the Aggies. Weber returns after starting 24 games, averaging 8.5 points per game, posting 59 assists to go along with the top field goal percentage among the returners. Scott started nine games for the Aggies and averaged 4.7 points per contest.
Other Aggies returning for the 2013-14 season include junior Simone Ruedin and redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin.
Trakh and the Aggies welcome eight newcomers for the new season, including junior transfer September Offutt. The 6-2 forward from Pomona, Calif., spent the 2011-12 season at Central Arizona College where she averaged 7.6 rebounds a game and shot 48 percent from the field.
The Aggies ended the 2012-13 season with a 15-16 overall record and 7-11 in WAC play. The season was highlighted by wins over defending Conference USA champion UTEP (69-68) and WAC-leading Utah State (106-94) late in the season. NM State ended the year with a second round loss to top-seeded Seattle U in the WAC Tournament. NM State went into the tournament as the eighth seed and fell 77-53.
The Aggies were selected to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference media and coaches’ preseason polls. Sophomore guard Sasha Weber was picked as a second-team selection in both polls. This comes after being noted as the top returner for the Aggies with 24 starts and 8-5 points per contest.