Aggies Look to Bounce Back Against Kansas City; Game to be televised by Comcast
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  01/18/2014

NM State vs. Chicago State Coverage

Television: KSMO (Kansas City)/ESPN3/Comcast (New Mexico)

Radio: KGRT 103.9 FM (play-by-play: ‘Voice of the Aggies’ - Jack Nixon)

Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com (click on live events link)

Twitter: @NMStateAggies

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team (14-6, 3-1 WAC) continues this week’s road trip taking on Kansas City (5-11, 2-2 WAC), Saturday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. (MT) in Memorial Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. The game will be aired on Comcast in New Mexico and fans should check their local listings for airtimes.  ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon will also be producing the game on the radio with a pre-game show starting at 5:30 p.m. Fans can follow the game with live stats online at www.NMStateSports.com and with score updates on Twitter @NMStateAggies. 

Looking Ahead

NM State returns to the Pan American Center, Saturday, Jan. 25 when it faces Texas-Pan American with tip-off set for 7 p.m. (MT). The game will be on the radio with coverage on KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces, while it is also scheduled to be on TV with AggieVision producing the game. Please check with your local satellite or cable provider for show times or check online at www.AggieVision.tv. Radio coverage on the Aggie Sports Network includes coverage in Alamogordo (107.1 FM), Albuquerque (101.7 FM), Artesia (990 AM) and Carlsbad (1240 AM).

About the Aggies

NM State had its seven-game winning streak snapped by Chicago State on Thursday, Jan. 16 by falling 86-81.  It was the Aggies’ first Western Athletic Conference loss of the year.  The Aggies are now sitting at 3-1 in league play and will attempt to start another winning streak on Saturday when taking on Kansas City.

The seven-game winning streak was the second seven-game winning streak of the season.  The Aggies also marked seven straight wins from Nov. 9, 2013 through Nov. 27, 2013.  During the second string of wins, the Aggies did not go into a half trailing their opponent. The Aggies went into halftime tied with Chicago State on Thursday.

The Aggies are averaging 78.2 points per game this season and are shooting 48 percent from the field, while they are shooting fairly well from behind the 3-point arc as well, hitting 38.7 percent of their 3-point attempts.  The NM State defense is holding its opponents to a 40.8 percent shooting percentage on the year and is out-rebounding the opposing teams by an average of 37.2 per game to 33.2 per game (+3.9 rebounding margin).

Junior guard Daniel Mullings leads all scorers on the squad with 16.9 points per game and is also the defensive leader of the team with a league-high 42 steals this season.  He also has 66 assists on the offensive end of the court and six blocks on the defensive side.

Sophomore Sim Bhullar, who has sat out the last four games due to a foot injury, leads the team with 7.4 rebounds per game and has a WAC-best 53 blocks this season.  Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is second on the team in rebounds with 7.3 per game and he has 24 blocks this year, after marking a career-best six blocks against Idaho (Jan. 11) and adding another three against Chicago State in Thursday’s loss.

Junior guard KC Ross-Miller has the best 3-point shooting percentage at 45.5 percent (20-of-44) but senior guard Kevin Aronis has made the most 3-pointers with 45, while shooting 43.3 percent (45-of-104).  Junior guard DK Eldridge has also been shooting the ball well from behind the 3-point arc hitting 43.3 percent (26-of-60) of his shots.

Senior forward/center Renaldo Dixon has made four consecutive starts heading into Saturday’s game against the Kangaroos and is averaging 23.1 minutes per game this season.  He is posting 6.7 points per game and is averaging 5.2 rebounds per game. 

Seven-Game Win Streak

During the first seven-game win streak of the season the Aggies were posting 80.7 points per game and holding their opponents to 66.1 points per game.  In the second seven-game win streak, NM State averaged 83.6 points per game and held the opposing team to an average of 63.4 points per game.

Daniel Mullings led the team with 18.6 points per game in the first seven-game win streak of the year and leads the team during this current win streak with 13.8 points per game.  There were four Aggies with double-figure scoring figures in the first win streak and there were six players scoring in double figures during the second win streak (Mullings, Eldridge, Bhullar, Aronis, Ross-Miller, Nephawe).

NM State defeated its opponents by an average of 14.6 points per game during the November win streak and defeated its opponents by 20.1 points per game during the second win streak.  The Aggies seemed to have been rebounding a little better during that first win streak, out-rebounding their opponents by 8.6 boards per game, while they were out-rebounding their opponents by 4.3 per game during the most recent streak.

This season marked the sixth time in the program's history that the team sported two separate win streaks of at least seven games during the same season. Here's the list, courtesy of BleedCrimson.net (starting with the most recent):

2013-14 (7, 7)

1998-99 (8, 7)

1992-93 (8, 7)

1990-91 (7, 7)

1969-70 (8, 9, 9)

1936-37 (9, 8)

Aggie versus Kansas City

This is the first meeting between NM State and the Kangaroos.

Scouting the Kangaroos

Kansas City is in its first year in the WAC and are currently 5-11 on the year and 2-2 in league play.  UMKC has lost its last two conference games, falling to Chicago State and Texas-Pan American at home.  The Kangaroos are led by first year head coach Kareem Richardson, who was an assistant for Louisville under Rick Pitino, helping the Cardinals to a National Championship.

UMKC leads the lead and ranks 16th nationally with 8.8 steals per game.  Martez Harrison leads Kansas City with 15.9 points per game and is tops among freshman in the WAC.  Fred Chatmon is the ‘Roos leader on the boards with 7.1 boards per game, while Caleb Johnson is shooting 41 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

Last Time Out (Game recap versus Chicago State)

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team dropped its first Western Athletic Conference game and ended its seven-game win streak after falling to Chicago State, 86-81, in Chicago, Ill., Thursday, Jan. 16.  The Aggies are now 14-6 overall and 3-1 in the WAC, while Chicago State moves to 8-9 on the year and 3-0 in conference play.

Junior guard Daniel Mullings led all scorers with 26 points that included 8-of-9 shooting from the free throw line. However, the Aggies as a team struggled from the charity stripe going 21-of-37 for a 56.8 free-throw percentage. NM State dominated the boards out-rebounding the Cougars 36-26.  The Aggie also made 10 treys on the evening with senior guard Kevin Aronis leading the way going 5-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc for 15 points.

Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe marked his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, but went 4-of-10 from the free throw line.  Junior guard DK Eldridge played tough and chipped in with 14 points, two rebounds and three assists. 

Mullings Named WAC Player of the Week for the Second Time This Season

The Western Athletic Conference office announced on Monday, January 13, that junior guard Daniel Mullings has been named Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 6-12.

Mullings led the Aggies to a pair of wins over Seattle U and Idaho last week. In a 96-87 win over Seattle U on Thursday, Mullings recorded his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He also tied a career-high with seven steals and dished out six assists. In NM State’s 78-54 win over Idaho, Mullings scored 16 points with six rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.

For the week, Mullings averaged 14.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game. He shot 42.9 percent (9-of-21) from the field, 60.0 percent (3-of-5) from the three-point line, and 60.0 percent (8-of-12) from the free throw line.

Aggies on the Road

NM State is 5-4 on the road this season and 1-1 when playing at a neutral site.  The Aggies picked up great road wins against Hawai’i (Nov. 12), Drake (Dec. 14) and New Mexico (Dec. 17).  NM State is shooting 45.8 percent on the road and is scoring 76 points per game, while holding its opponents to 74.8 points per game.  The Aggies are being out-rebounded on the road this season 35.2-35.8 but have more assists than their opponents when playing on the road.

Guard Daniel Mullings leads the Aggies in scoring on the road posting 17.7 points per game and has a team-high 22 steals on the road this season.  Guard K.C. Ross-Miller is second on the team in scoring on the road with 12.4 points per game and his free throw shooting in an opponent’s arena has been stellar.  He has hit 43-of-48 free throw shots for an 84.5 road free throw percentage.

Guard DK Eldridge has also been playing well on the road this season averaging 10.2 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game while playing 27.4 minutes per game.  Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is grabbing 7.8 rebounds per game and is hitting 49.1 percent of his shots during road games this season.

Aggies in the WAC

NM State has the best overall record among WAC schools at 14-6.

Coming into this week’s play, the Aggies lead the conference in scoring offense (78.1 points/game), field goal percentage (.480) and scoring margin (+9.9) in all games played.

NM State’s defense also came into the week leading the WAC in opponent’s field goal percentage, holding opponents to 40.2 percent shooting, while standing in second in the WAC in scoring defense, allowing 68.2 points per game. 

The Aggies entered the week leading the conference in blocked shots (112) and blocked shots per game (5.89).  NM State has almost twice as many blocked shots as second-place Bakersfield (59).

The Aggies are also second in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage (.383), rebounding (37.2 rebounds/game) and rebound margin (+3.6) while placing third in free throw percentage (.698), assists per game (13.16), defensive rebounds per game (25.21) and offensive rebounds per game (12.00).

Despite missing all three WAC contests with a foot injury, sophomore center Sim Bhullar still handily leads the conference in overall blocked shots (53) and blocked shots per game (3.31).  He is also the WAC overall leader in field goal percentage, shooting at a 67 percent tilt (61-91).

Bhullar also ranks fourth among WAC players in total rebounds per game (7.4) and offensive rebounds per game (2.56) while placing sixth in defensive rebounds per game (4.81).

Fellow center Tshilidzi Nephawe is right behind Bhullar, placing fourth in the WAC in field goal percentage (.530), third in blocked shots (21), fifth in blocked shots per game (1.11), sixth in total rebounds per game (7.1), fifth in defensive rebounds per game (4.84) and seventh in offensive rebounds per game (2.21).

Senior forward Renaldo Dixon makes it three Aggies in the top 5 in blocked shots.  Dixon is right behind Nephawe with 19 blocked shots, which rank him fourth in the WAC.  His 1.00 blocked shot per game average is good enough for seventh in the conference.

Aggies in the Nation

NM State leads the nation in free throw attempts (596) and free throws made (411).  The Aggies also rank sixth in the country in total blocks (117), eighth in total rebounds (743), 26th in blocked shots per game (5.9) and 41st in total assists (265).  NM State’s scoring offense (78.2 points/game) is ranked 51st in the nation while its field goal percentage (48.0) is 41st-best in the country.

Sophomore center Sim Bhullar is 14th in the nation in blocked shots with 53 on the season and 13th in blocked shots per game with a 3.31 average.  Junior guard Daniel Mullings is 15th in the country with 42 steals this season.

NM State RPI

Although the Aggies won both games last week they dropped two spots in the RPI from No. 52 to No. 54.  The Aggies have the highest RPI of any team in the WAC.  Kansas City is the closest to the Aggies at 168, while Thursday’s opponent, Chicago State is at 186.  The rest of the WAC goes in this order: Seattle U 194, Utah Valley 199, Idaho 273, Bakersfield 287, Grand Canyon 290, and Texas Pan American 327.

Mullings Climbs the Steals List

This season, guard Daniel Mullings leads the team in steals with 42. He ranks fourth on the all-time list with 179.  He recently surpassed former Aggie great Randy Brown (1988-92), who had 162 steals. Mullings is averaging 2.2 steals per game this season. In 20 games, Mullings has recorded 12 games with at least two steals, including four games with three steals.

Against Seattle U on Jan. 9, Mullings tied a career-high seven steals.  He marked seven steals against Seattle U almost one year to the date as he picked up seven steals on Jan. 10, 2013 in Seattle.

If Mullings keeps his current pace of 2.2 steals per game, by the end of the regular season he will rank third all-time with 194.  He is in third on the all-time steals list at NM State surpassing former Aggie All-American James Moore (2000-03).

Career Steals at NM State

1. Hearnst Leroche (2008-12) – 216

2. William Benjamin (1988-92) – 209

3. Daniel Mullings (2012-Present) – 179

   James Moore (2000-03) – 174

Mullings Reaches 1,000 – Moving up the all-time scoring list

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’ 1,000-career point came at the 17:32 mark in the second half of the Gonzaga game when he made two free throws. He finished the evening going 5-of-14 from the field while also making 6-of-9 free throws.

Mullings has scored 321 points this season and now has 1,138 points on his career.  He is currently averaging 16.9 points per game this season and is looking to climb the all-time scoring list.  Mullings moved up two spots from last week and is now at No. 19 on the all-time list after surpassing former Aggies Justin Hawkins (2006-08) and Greg Webb (1977-80).  Mullings needs 21 more points to tie for 18th on the all-time list with Billy Joe Price (1959-61).

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).

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