The New Mexico State men's basketball team has its first rivalry game of the season, when NM State travels to El Paso, Texas, to face UTEP, Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. 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 are 3-3 this season following a pair of wins at home. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team in scoring with 14.0 points. Senior forward Tyrone Watson supplies 13.0 points per game, and senior forward Bandja Sy is contributing 9.3 points per game.
The Miners are 1-4 overall this season following a tough early schedule. UTEP lost to Vanderbilt, 73-49, Nov. 25, in their final game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. Junior guard John Bohannon has a team-high 10.2 points per game, and sophomore forward/guard Julian Washburn contributes 9.6 points per game.
With a series split last season, the Aggies have a slight 103-99 lead in the all-time series. Last year, each team won on its home court. NM State won in Las Cruces, 89-73, Nov. 19, 2011 while UTEP won in El Paso, 73-69, Dec. 11, 2011.
In the second game of the Battle of 1-10, NM State fell at UTEP, 73-69, Dec. 11, 2011. Guard Hernst Laroche led the Aggies with a season-high 16 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the 3-point line. As a team, NM State hit a season-high 10 3-pointers. Forward Tyrone Watson was also in double figures with a season-high 11 points.
Aggies Roll over Louisiana
NM State downed Louisiana, 79-57, with five players in double figures, Nov. 23 in Las Cruces. Senior forward Bandja Sy had a season-high 16 points. Sy was 6-of-8 from the field including 2-for-2 from the 3-point line. He blocked four of the nine shots, which was a season-best showing. Senior forward Tyrone Watson and junior guard Kevin Aronis both scored 12 points, which was a personal-best for Aronis. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller also supplied the offense with 11. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe posted his second double-double of the year with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Aggies Cruise to 67-37 Win
The Aggies beat Northern New Mexico, 67-37, in the conclusion of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, Nov. 21 in Las Cruces. The Aggies utilized a size advantage and scored 44 points in the paint. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon scored a season-high 12 points, and senior forward Bandja Sy was also in double-figures with 10 points. The Aggies had 12 players see action, and senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore forward Remi Barry both added seven points. This was the first time since Jan. 4, 1988 that NM State held an opponent to under 40 points.
National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 10th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+12.3). NM State recorded back-to-back 50-plus rebounding games against Northern New Mexico and Louisiana. NM State has out-rebounded opponents in five of its first six games. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe has a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game average.
Against the WAC Competition
Currently, the Aggies rank second in the WAC in rebounding margin (+12.3), field goal percent defense (38.5) and 3-point field goal percent defense (28.2). NM State is third in scoring offense (70.2) and scoring margin (+8.7).
Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks second in 3-point field goal percentage (66.7) and 10th in steals (1.83 per game). Senior forward Tyrone Watson is sixth in field goal percentage (55.6). Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller ranks 10th in free throw percentage (81.3), and freshman center Sim Bhullar is seventh in blocked shots (1.50 per game) as of Nov. 26.
Defense Dominates inside Pan Am
The Aggies held Northern New Mexico to just 37 points, Nov. 21. This was the first time since a 41-37 win over Cal State Fullerton, Jan. 4, 1988, that NM State held an opponent to under 40 points. The Crimson and White followed that performance with a season-high nine blocked shots versus Louisiana, Nov. 23.
Aggies Notch Double-Doubles
Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe leads the Aggies with two double-doubles this season. His first double-double of the season occurred at Niagara, Nov. 18. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Nephawe also had a double-double against Louisiana, Nov. 23, with 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Aronis Finds Long Range Touch
Junior guard Kevin Aronis is making an impact for the Aggies in his first season. He leads the team with seven 3-point field goals this year, and has made at least two 3-pointers in each of the Aggie wins. He scored a career-high 12 points against Louisiana, Nov. 23.
Hard Work Pays Off for Mullings
After an off-season of time spent in the gym working on his shot, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is seeing the rewards. He has started the season with a 5-of-6 shooting performance from the 3-pointer line. Mullings only made five 3-pointers during his entire freshman season. After six games, Mullings is shooting 66.7 percent from the 3-point line (6-of-9).
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 six games, the Aggies are averaging 26.8 attempts per game, 11.0 more attempts than their opponents.
Aggies Falter at Niagara 86-83
NM State let a second-half lead slip away and fell to Niagara, 86-83, in the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project, Nov. 18. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scored a season-high 26 points, just two shy of his career high, for the Aggies and was named to the all-tournament team. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe contributed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. This was his first double-double since March 2, 2011. Senior forward Bandja Sy was also in double-digits with 10 points. Off the bench, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen had a career-high nine points, while senior forward Tyrone Watson supplied eight points, six rebounds and five assists.
Mullings Has Season-High, Aggies Fall to Bucknell
The Aggies opened the Niagara Falls subregional of the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project with a 62-49 loss to Bucknell, Nov. 17. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings paced the Aggies with 22 points and team-high six rebounds. Senior forward Tyrone Watson was also in double figures with 13 points. NM State was held under 50 points for only the second time in the Marvin Menzies era. The last time the Aggies scored less than 50 points occurred in a 59-49 loss at Utah State, Jan. 22, 2011.
Aggies Win Home Opener 81-56
NM State defeated Southeastern Louisiana, 81-56, in the 2012-13 home opener inside the Pan American Center, Nov. 15. Senior forward Tyrone Watson directed the Aggies with a career-high 24 points. Watson was 7-of-10 from the field and 10-of-10 at the free-throw line in 24 minutes of action. Freshman center Sim Bhullar was also in double-digits for the first time with 13 points, and he grabbed seven rebounds. Off the bench, junior guard Kevin Aronis added eight points on 2-of-3 shooting from the 3-point line.
Aggies Stumble in Season Opener at Oregon State
NM State opened the 2012-13 season with a 71-62 loss at Oregon State in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project in Corvallis, Ore., Nov. 11. The Aggies had three players in double figures with senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scoring 14 points each. Senior forward Bandja Sy nearly had a double-double with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe added nine points and seven rebounds.
Watson's Senior Campaign off to a Strong Start
In his final season in the Crimson and White, senior forward Tyrone Watson is taking over a leadership role for the Aggies. He scored a career-high 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.
Young Aggies Set Career Highs
The Aggie underclassmen are contributing to the team early in the season. Freshman center Sim Bhullar had a career-high 13 points seven rebounds in the home opener against Southeastern Louisiana, Nov. 15. At Niagara, Nov. 18, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen scored a career-high nine points and dished a career-high three assists.
Aggies Cruise in Exhibition Win 98-49
NM State rolled to a 98-49 win over Western New Mexico in its lone exhibition game of the season, Nov. 5, in Las Cruces. The Aggies had five players in double figures with senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings providing 13 points each. Senior forward Bandja Sy added 12 points, junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe chipped in 11 and redshirt freshman guard Eric Weary had 10. NM State utilized its size advantage for a 20-rebound edge on the boards, 46-26, and Sy grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. The Aggies shot the ball well and recorded a 57.1 field goal percentage and 45.5 3-point percentage.
Previewing the WAC
NM State was voted to win the WAC title in the WAC Coaches' Preseason poll and second in the media poll. Senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings earned Preseason All-WAC honors. Mullings was a first team pick and Watson was a second team selection in the coaches' ballots.
The Slate for 2012-13
The Aggies have 16 regular season home games scheduled for the 2012-13 season in the Pan American Center. NM State is set to play in three nationally televised games on ESPNU at Oregon State (Nov. 11), against Denver (Jan. 23) and at Utah State (Feb. 16).
Menzies is the Fifth Winningest Coach at NM State
Head coach Marvin Menzies has recorded 105 career wins in five seasons 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)
The Aggies host Southern Mississippi, Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7p.m. inside the Pan American Center. NM State hits the road to take on South Alabama, Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. in Mobile, Ala.