Aggies Take on Bakersfield in the Pan American Center, Thursday
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  01/29/2014

NM State vs. Bakersfield Coverage

Television: AggieVision – Comcast – ESPN3.com

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 (15-7, 4-2 WAC) takes on Bakersfield, Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. (MT) in the Pan American Center.  AggieVision is producing the game for TV and fans should check local listings for airtimes in your area. Saturday’s game will also air over the radio waves on the Aggie Sports Network with ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon giving the play-by-play.

Looking Ahead

NM State takes on Utah Valley, who is currently sitting atop the WAC Standings, Saturday, Feb. 1 in the Pan American Center.  That night is Hall of Fame night with ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon being inducted along with former Aggie men’s golf coach Scott Lieberwirth, and former NM State women’s basketball player Melanie Maynes.  That night is also a ‘White Out’ with the Aggie Athletics Department asking all Aggie fans to wear white.  The game will air on the radio with coverage on KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces, while they are also scheduled to be on TV with AggieVision producing them. 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).

Post-Game Interviews

Fans and media can access post-game video interviews with head coach Marvin Menzies and selected players after each game on-line at www.NMStateSports.com by clicking on the game recap.

About the Aggies

NM State had its seven-game winning streak snapped by Chicago State on Thursday, Jan. 16 by falling 86-81 then lost its second straight Western Athletic Conference game of the year falling to Kansas City 68-66 on the road.  However, NM State bounced back with a 90-78 win over Texas-Pan American, Jan. 25 in the Pan American Center.

The Aggies are now sitting at 4-2 in league play and play two games in the Pan American Center this week, where they are 9-1 on the year.

The Aggies are averaging 78.2 points per game this season and are shooting 48.0 percent from the field, while they are shooting fairly well from behind the 3-point arc as well, hitting 37.6 percent of their 3-point attempts.  The NM State defense is holding its opponents to a 41.3 percent shooting percentage on the year and is out-rebounding the opposing teams by an average of 37.0 per game to 32.9 per game (+4.1 rebounding margin).

Junior guard Daniel Mullings leads all scorers on the squad with 17.0 points per game and is also the defensive leader of the team with a league-high 46 steals this season.  He also has 69 assists on the offensive end of the court and nine blocks on the defensive side.

Sophomore Sim Bhullar, who has sat out the last six games due to a foot injury, leads the team with a WAC-best 53 blocks this season, while junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is now the team-leader in rebounds with 7.7 per game and he has 30 blocks this year, after marking a career-best six blocks against Idaho (Jan. 11) and adding another three against Chicago State.

Senior guard Kevin Aronis has the best 3-point shooting percentage at 43.8 percent (49-of-112) and has made the most 3-pointers with 49. Junior guard KC Ross-Miller is second on the team with a 41.7 3-point shooting percentage (20-of-48) and junior DK Eldridge is shooting 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc (28-of-70).

Senior forward/center Renaldo Dixon has made six consecutive starts heading into Thursday’s game against Bakersfield and is averaging 24.5 minutes per game this season.  He is posting 8.2 points per game and is grabbing 5.4 rebounds per game.

Looking Back

The Aggies continued to dominate at home in Western Athletic Conference play after defeating the Texas-Pan American Broncs, 90-78, Saturday night, Jan. 25, inside the Pan American Center.  The win was the Aggies' 17th-straight home win against conference opponents.

The Aggies overcame a slow start to improve to 15-7 overall and 4-2 in WAC play.  UTPA falls to 6-15 and 2-4 in the WAC.

NM State junior guard Daniel Mullings had a career-night as he went over the 30-point mark for the first time in his Aggie career.  NM State’s leading scorer finished with 32 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and 13-of-15 from the free-throw line.

Not to be outdone, center Tshilidzi Nephawe also marked a career-high.  The Aggie big man finished with a game-high 15 rebounds, the most he’s had in a game while at NM State.  Nephawe also scored 14 points for a team-leading sixth double-double.

A couple of other Aggies also contributed with double-figure points.  Senior forward Renaldo Dixon put in 15 points while junior guard DK Eldridge added another 14.

NM State shot 56.9 percent from the field (29-of-51) while holding the Broncs to 45.8 percent (27-of-59).  The Aggies made 3-of-8 from beyond the arc during both halves to finish 6-of-16 for the game, a 37.5 shooting percentage from 3-point range.  NM State also shot 14 more free throws than the Broncs, finishing at 76.5 percent from the charity stripe (26-of-34).

Series History versus Bakersfield

The NM State Aggies have proved themselves against the Bakersfield Roadrunner with a 3-0 all-time record, which began on Dec. 29, 1961.  All games played have been at the Aggies home court, the Pan American Center.  The Aggies won the first game 88-64, the second game 73-72 and the third game 78-57.

Scouting the Roadrunners

The Roadrunners are led by head coach Rod Barnes in his third season with the team. He is assisted by Jeff Conarroe and Kevin Missouri in their third season with the team and Mark Hsu in his first season with the Roadrunners. 

Bakersfield has an 8-12 overall record and is 3-6 record on the road.  Junior guard Issiah Grayson leads the team in scoring and assists, averaging 15.4 points per game with 3.90 assists per game. Grayson is first for the Roadrunners in 3-point field goal percentage at 46.9 percent. Junior guard Javonte Maynor trails Grayson in 3-point field goal percentage at 38.1 percent.

As a team, the wolverines have a +1.4 scoring margin. Throughout the season they have tallied 684 rebounds, 246 assists and average a 43.9 field goal percentage. 

Last Time against Bakersfield (game recap – Feb. 1, 2012)

Former forward Wendell McKines became a member of the 1,000-career point and 1,000-career rebound club and led the New Mexico State men's basketball team to a 78-57 win over CSU Bakersfield in the Pan American Center, Feb. 1, 2012.

The Aggies improved to 16-7 overall with three players in double figures. They have a 5-2 WAC record before the second round of conference play begins Saturday.

With his 12th rebound of the game with 7:45 minutes remaining, McKines joined the elite club. He is only the second player in school history along with Sam Lacey, second active player in the NCAA (T.J. Robinson, Long Beach State) and 12th player in the WAC history to achieve the feat.

McKines also had his 13th double-double of the year and 40th of his career with a game-high 20 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while senior guard Hernst Laroche supplied 10 points and four assists. For the second consecutive game, sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe blocked four shots.

Mullings Earns WAC Player of the Week After Posting Career-High 32 Points

Junior guard Daniel Mullings has been named Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 20-26. This is his third player of the week honor of the season.

Mullings, scored a career-high 32 points in a 90-78 win over Texas-Pan American on Saturday, helping the Aggies break a two-game skid. Mullings went over the 30-point mark for the first time in his Aggie career and was NM State’s leading scorer on 9-of-15 shooting (60.0 percent) from the field and 13-of-15 (86.7 percent) from the free throw line. Mullings also had six rebounds, three steals, two blocks and one assist.

Mullings is averaging 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game this season. He is shooting 45.8 percent (120-of-262) from the field this year.

With 1,173 points during his career, Mullings is No. 17 on the all-time scoring list recently surpassing former Aggie “Super” John Williamson, who played from 1972-73. Williamson is the Aggies’ record holder for scoring average in a season posting 27.2 points per game during the 1972-73 season. Mullings needs 38 more points to tie Keith Hill on the list. Hill posted 1,201 points for the Aggies from 1987-90.

Another Steal by Daniel Mullings

Guard Daniel Mullings leads the team in steals with 46 this season. He ranks third on the all-time list with 183. He recently surpassed former Aggie All-American James Moore (2000-03) on Jan. 16, against Chicago State. Mullings is averaging 2.2 steals per game this season. In 21 games, Mullings has recorded 13 games with at least two steals, including eight games with at least three steals.

Against Seattle University on Jan. 9, Mullings tied a career-high seven steals. He marked seven steals against Seattle University 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 remain third all-time with 204 just behind William Benjamin who has 209.

Career Steals at NM State

1. Hearnst Leroche (2008-12) – 216

2. William Benjamin (1988-92) – 209

3. Daniel Mullings (2012-Present) – 183

4. James Moore (2000-03) – 174

5. Randy Brown (1988-92) – 162

Daniel Mullings on the NM State All-Time Scoring List

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 to finish with 17 points.

Mullings has scored 356 points this season and now has 1,173 points his career. He is currently averaging 17.0 points per game this season and is looking to climb the all-time scoring list. Mullings currently sits at No. 17 on the list after he recently surpassed “Super” John Williamson (1972-73) who completed his career with 1,168 points. He now needs 29 points to become No. 16 on the all-time scoring list. Keith Hill (1987-90) currently occupies the No. 16 spot on the all-time scoring list with 1,201 points. If Mullings maintains this pace, by the end of the regular season he will be 12th on the all-time scoring list behind Ernest Patterson (1980-83) who finished his career with 1,419 points.

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 the list of all-time points scored. He played under coach Menzies from 2008-12 and scored a total of 400 points in 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 in 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 rounds out the 1,000 Point Club at No. 31 with 1,004 points in 65 games played (two seasons; 1999-00).

All-time scoring list

12. Steve Colter (1981-84) – 1,333

13. Charles Gosa (1995-99) – 1,233

14. Johnny Roberson (1986-89) – 1,223

15. Hernst Leroche (2008-12) – 1,209

16. Keith Hill (1987-90) – 1,201

17. Daniel Mullings (2012-Present) – 1,173

18. “Super” John Williamson (1972-73) – 1,168

Aggies on the Boards

The Aggies are averaging 37.0 rebounds a game this season, compared to opponents average of 32.9 rebounds a game versus the Aggies.  The Aggies are ranked 18th nationally in rebounding, led by Tshilidzi Nephawe with a total of 170 rebounds on the season, averaging 7.7 boards a game.

At home the Aggies are even more of a presence on the glass, with Nephawe still leading the way but getting major contributions from Renaldo Dixon as well, averaging just under six (5.9) rebounds a game at home.  Daniel Mullings and DK Eldridge also show improvement on the boards at home, averaging 5.4 and 5.2 rebounds a game during home stretches.

Nephawe’s 170 rebounds on the season place him 54th overall nationally, while the Aggies as a whole are ranked 76th in rebound margin, out-rebounding opponents by an average of 4.1 rebounds a game.

Aggies in the WAC

NM State has the best overall record among WAC schools at 15-7.

Coming into this week’s play, the Aggies lead the conference in scoring offense (82.5 avg/game), field goal percentage (.480) and scoring margin (+10.0) in the WAC.

NM State dropped from fourth in the WAC in scoring defense to seventh, allowing 72.5 points per game.

The Aggies entered the week leading in blocked shots for all games with 130 on the season and blocked shots per game (5.95).  NM State has almost more than double blocked shots as second-place Bakersfield (76).

The Aggies are also second in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage (.391), second in rebounding for all games (32.9 rebounds/game) and are ranked first with their rebound margin (+6.2 in the WAC. NM State moved up from seventh place to fourth for its free throw percentage (.691) in all games, kept their third place rank in assists per game (13.05), defensive rebounds per game ranking fourth (24.86) and second in offensive rebounds per game (12.09).

Individually, the Aggies have lit up the leader board ranking having at least one player in the top-10 in all categories. 

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