NM State Menís Basketball Looks for Win No. 550 in Pan American Center as it Takes on Prairie View A&M Wednesday Night
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  11/26/2013

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team takes on Prairie View A&M, Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. (MT) in the Pan American Center.  Tickets start at just $8 while season-tickets and other ticket packages are still available by calling the Pan American Center ticket office at 575-646-1420.  Kids 12-years-old and under get in free for the game against Prairie View A&M.   ‘Voice of the Aggies,’ Jack Nixon will be giving the play-by-play action on the radio in Las Cruces on KGRT 103.9 FM with the radio feed also available on the Internet at www.NMStateSports.com for a fee.

Great Start

The Aggies are off to a great start with a 6-1 record in the first seven games.  NM State’s only loss came against Western Michigan during the Outriggers Hotels and Resort Rainbow Warriors Classic. It was a 70-64 season-opening loss.  Since then NM State has won six straight including a sweep of I-10 Rival UTEP.

This is the best start for the Aggies since the 2002-03 season when they started 7-1 under legendary head coach Lou Henson.  NM State finished that season 20-9.  

This is the best start for an Aggie team under head coach Marvin Menzies.  The 2011-12 NM State team started the year 5-2 in the first seven games and went on to win a WAC Tournament Championship, while making an appearance to the NCAA Tournament.

Scouting Prairie View A&M

The Panthers come into Wednesday’s game with a 1-4 record. They fell to Colorado State on Nov. 25, 95-68.  Guard John Brisco led PVAM with 17 points in 27 minutes of play as forward Demondre Champman added 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting against the Rams.

Series against Prairie View A&M

The Aggies are 3-0 all-time against Prairie View A&M. NM State has won at home all three times. The first time they met was on Dec. 11, 2007, the Aggies swept the score board with and 80-43 victory. The second time they met was on Dec. 17, 2008, the final score was 88-74. The last time NM State met Prairie View A&M was on Dec. 28, 2009 with a score of 95-76.

About the Aggies

The Aggies are off to a 6-1 start, which is the best start since the 2002-03 season.

NM State is scoring 76.9 points per game with junior guard Daniel Mullings leading the way with 17.1 points per game.  He also leads the Aggies with 33.3 minutes per game while adding a team-high 10 steals. Mullings is second on the team with 22 assists, behind junior guard KC Ross-Miller who has 31 assists.

The Aggies are pulling down 38.4 rebounds per game with junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe grabbing a team-high 8.6 boards per game.  Nephawe is also adding 10.6 points per game.  Sophomore center Sim Bhullar is averaging 6.9 boards per game while scoring 9.9 points per game. NM State is out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 10.4 rebounds per game.

NM State has already shot 245 free throws but is hitting only 69 percent from the charity stripe.

In the Pan American Center

The Aggies are 3-0 in the Pan American Center this season and finished the 2012-13 season winning the last 11 games played at home to extend their home-winning streak to 14.  NM State finished the 2012-13 season with a 15-1 home record, the same record it had when the Pan American Center was opened (1968-69).  The first game played in the Pan American Center was on Nov. 30, 1968 against Colorado State.  The Aggies won that game 95-89.

NM State is 549-146 all-time in the Pan American Center.  If the Aggies defeat Prairie View A&M at home on Wednesday night, they will have tallied 550 wins in the Pan American Center in 46 seasons. There have been four seasons where the Aggies have gone undefeated at home (1969-70, 1970-71, 1979-80, 1989-90).

DID YOU KNOW: There are three Aggies averaging double-digit scoring figures while two others are putting up at least nine points per game.

Last Time Out (Bethune-Cookman Recap)

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team used a 21-point advantage in the second half to pull away from Bethune-Cookman University, 79-56, Monday, Nov. 25 inside the Pan American Center.

The Aggies have now won six-straight games after losing their season opener and improve to 6-1 on the season.  NM State also picked up its 14th-consecutive home win dating back to last season.  The Wildcats, meanwhile, fall to 2-4 on the season.

The Aggies outscored BCU 47-26 in the second half to turn what was only a two-point lead at the half, 32-30, into a blowout win in front of the home crowd.

NM State finished the night shooting 56 percent from the field (28-of-50) while holding the Wildcats to 45.3 percent.  The Aggies also shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range (6-of-14) and 77.3 percent from the free-throw line (17-of-22) while outrebounding BCU 34-22.

Redshirt junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe led the Aggies tying a career-high of 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. The seven field goals were also a career-high for Nephawe.  He also had 18 points during the Aggies season opener against Western Michigan.  Nephawe also tied for the team-high in rebounds with nine, falling one rebound short of a double-double.

Junior guards Daniel Mullings and DK Eldridge each added 13 points for the Aggies while senior forward Renaldo Dixon put in 10 points while also tying Nephawe with nine rebounds to lead NM State.  Like Nephawe, Dixon fell one rebound short of a double-double.

It was a sloppy start to the game as each team had four turnovers within the first eight minutes.  BCU made the first field goal of the night, a 3-pointer by guard Mikel Trapp.  The Aggies, however, scored the next eight points with Eldridge marking the first five and Nephawe adding a couple in the paint.

But again, NM State turnovers kept the Wildcats close.  BCU would tie the game at nine before a couple of buckets inside the paint by Dixon gave NM State a four-point lead with 11:28 left in the half.

The Wildcats would not flinch, however, as once again they would pull even with the Aggies at 17 with 7:35 left in the half.

BCU, who finished the half by going 4-of-5 from beyond the 3-point arc, would drain two-consecutive 3-pointers late in the half to take a 27-25 lead.  The same stretch saw Nephawe score six-straight points for NM State, the final two tying the game at 27 with under two minutes left in the half.

Aggie center Sim Bhullar’s first points of the game gave NM State a two-point lead with 50 seconds left in the half, but Wildcat guard Malik Jackson came right back with another BCU three to give the Wildcats a one-point lead with 18.3 seconds left.  The Aggies would score the final points of the half, however, as freshman guard Travon Landry hit a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to give NM State a 32-30 halftime lead.

The Aggies shot 47.8 percent from the field in the first half (11-of-23) to the Wildcats’ 54.2 percent (13-of-24).  NM State would only go 2-of-8 from beyond the arc while BCU shot 80 percent, but the Aggies did shoot well from the charity stripe, finishing at 80 percent in the first half on 8-of-10 shooting.  Both teams had trouble holding on to the ball as NM State had eight turnovers in the half while the Wildcats were right behind with seven turnovers.

The Aggies were led by Nephawe who finished with nine points and a couple of rebounds in the first half.  Eldridge was right behind with eight points while Dixon had six points and led NM State with five rebounds in the half.

After BCU tied the game with the first bucket of the second half, The Aggies proceeded to go on a 10-0 run to open up the game.  The run was highlighted by a Bhullar and-one on a slam dunk and a 3-pointer by Mullings.  The run was punctuated by a shot in the paint by Eldridge to give NM State a 10-point lead with 16:10 left in the game.

Nephawe started making his presence felt in the lane on both sides of the court, picking up defensive and offensive rebounds and marking six points in the paint.   A 3-pointer by Eldridge with just over 11 minutes left in the contest gave the Aggies a 20-point lead.

For the first time in a couple of games NM State began draining its threes as they finished the second half by sinking 4-of-6 threes in the half.  A three by Aggie senior guard Kevin Aronis gave NM State an insurmountable 63-42 lead with nine minutes left in the game.

Mullings would proceed to take over the latter portion of the game, scoring six-straight points for the Aggies and then dishing a no-look pass for a Dixon dunk that gave NM State a 72-49 lead with under five minutes remaining in the contest.  From there the Aggies cruised to the 23-point victory.

Next for the Aggies

NM State hits the road to take on Colorado State, Saturday, Nov. 30 in Fort Collins, Colo. with tip-off set for 4 p.m. (MT).  The game will air over the radio waves on KGRT 103.9 FM immediately following the NM State football game.  It will also be televised by ROOT Sports and fans should check with their local cable or satellite provider for air times in their area.

Dishing the Ball

Junior guard K.C. Ross-Miller leads the Aggies with 31 assists this season, averaging 4.4 a game.  He tallied a career-high seven assists in a 79-56 win over Bethune-Cookman, Monday, Nov. 25 in the Pan American Center.  Ross-Miller marked 69 assists during the 2012-13 season in 30 games with the Aggies.  He is working hard to find his Aggie teammates and hopes to enter the top-10 for assists in a single season at NM State.  Former Aggie Fred Peete holds the No. 10 spot on the list as he marked 145 assists during the 2007-08 season.  Aggie great, Sam Crawford holds the top two spots on the list as he tallied 310 assists during the 1992-93 year, after dishing out 282 assists during the 1991-92 season.

Bhullar Reaches Century Mark for Blocks

Sophomore center Sim Bhullar tallied block No. 100 and 101 in a 79-56 win over Bethune-Cookman, Monday, Nov. 25 in the Pan American Center.  He moved into the No. 5 spot on the career-blocks list when he marked three blocks in a 77-68 win at UTEP, Nov. 23. He surpassed Johnny Roberson, who tallied 98 career-blocks from 1985-89. 

Former Aggie standout, Charles Gosa (1995-99) holds the No. 4 spot on the list with 116 while former Aggie All-American James Moore (2000-03) is the all-time leader with 200.

Shooting for 1,000 – The Countdown Continues

Junior guard and Canadian native, Daniel Mullings led the NM State men’s basketball team with 483 points during the 2012-13 season. During the 2011-12 season he tallied a total of 334 points. Prior to the start of this season Mullings needed 183 points to reach 1,000 points for NM State. 

Mullings has scored 120 points this season and now has 937 points on his career, needing 63 more points to reach the 1,000-point mark. He is currently averaging 17.1 points per game this season, which means he could reach 1,000 points within the next six games.

Eric Channing is NM State’s all-time scoring leader with 1,862 points. Channing played for the Aggies from 1998-02. Former Aggie guard Hernst Laroche is No. 15 on all-time points scored. He was under coach Menzies from 2008-12 and scored a total of 400 points his first two years at NM State.

George Knighton was the first Aggie to ever reach 1,000 points. He played for NM State from 1960-62 and scored over 1,000 points his first two years. The most recent Aggies to enter the 1,000 Point Club were Wendell McKines, Hernst Laroche, and Hamidu Rahman in 2012.  Former Aggie Billy Keys is currently No. 31 on the 1,000-point list with 1,004 points in 65 games played (two seasons; 1999-00).

Slam Dunk

NM State has dunked the ball 30 times compared to its opponents only dunking it on the Aggies seven times this year.  Sim Bhullar leads the way with 17 dunks after slamming it down on Hawai’i six times.  Daniel Mullings has had some of the most entertaining dunks, with one put-back dunk against Northern Colorado making ESPN Sportcenter’s Top 10 Plays, at No. 6, on Nov. 21.

Ross-Miller comes through at the charity strip

Ross-Miller is currently 83% from the free throw line hitting 34-of-41 attempts from the stripe. He was 11-of-14 at UTEP last week.

Junior guard K.C. Ross-Miller went 10-of-12 at the free throw line during a 95-88 win over Hawai’i in the final game of the Outrigger Hotels and Resort Rainbow Classic.  He hit 10 consecutive free throws in the final 10 seconds of the game to boost the Aggies to victory.  Ross-Miller went 15-of-18 (83%) from the free throw line during the first three games of the season and finished the tournament scoring 7.3 points per game and dishing out 12 assists, a team-high.

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