The New Mexico State men’s basketball team begins a three-game home stand when the Aggies host Fresno State, Saturday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m., inside the Pan American Center. The game is carried on the Aggie Sports Network and on KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces with the ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon and in Spanish on Vista 98 FM with Martin Cortez. Saturday’s contest is also available on AggieVision with Jeff Matthews and Rus Bradburd. The matchup is shown live on Comcast affiliates in New Mexico, Time Warner in El Paso, ESPN Full Court and Fox Sports-Arizona. NM State is inducting the 1960 Aggie football team into the Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony. The Aggies then continue WAC play against Louisiana Tech, Monday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m., in Las Cruces.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies improved to 12-12 and 6-5 in the WAC following a 62-60 win at Nevada, Feb. 7, in Reno, Nev. Sophomore guard Jahmar Young led the team with 17 points and sophomore forward Wendell McKines had his 11th double-double of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds including the game-winning 3-pointer.
This season, NM State has consistently had a balanced offensive attack with four players recording double-digit scoring averages with sophomore guard Jahmar Young and junior guard Jonathan Gibson posting 18.1 and 13.7 points per game, respectively. Sophomore forward Wendell McKines is supplying 12.3 points along with a team-best 9.6 rebounds per contest while freshman forward Troy Gillenwater is adding 12.4 points.
Fresno State Bulldogs
The Bulldogs are 10-14 and 2-7 in the WAC. Fresno State defeated Boise State, 88-82, Feb. 9, in Fresno, Calif. Freshman guard Paul George posted a double-double with a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds while junior forward Sylvester Seay added 23 points in the win. George leads the Bulldogs with a team-best 15.9 points per game and Seay contributes 14.4 points per contest. Fresno State is currently without senior guard Dwight O’Neil, who averages 12.8 points, because he has been suspended indefinitely.
The Aggies lead the all-time series, 19-11, after winning the first meeting of the season, 79-66, Jan. 3, in Fresno, Calif. NM State has now won the last three games in the series.
In the first meeting of the season, the Aggies won both their WAC opener and first road game of the season at Fresno State, 79-66, Jan. 3. Sophomore guard Jahmar Young had a game-high 25 points while sophomore forward Wendell McKines collected his eighth double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds. McKines also had a career-high six assists. Sophomore guard Gordo Castillo had his first double-digit performance with a career-high 10 points on a 4-of-5 showing from the field.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
The Bulldogs are 9-15 and 3-8 in conference play. Louisiana Tech fell at No. 22 Utah State, 60-52, Feb. 7, in Logan, Utah, after it beat Nevada, 78-75, Feb. 5, in Reno, Nev. The Bulldogs and Aggies were the first programs to hand the Wolf Pack back-to-back losses since the 2005-06 season. Louisiana Tech hosts Fresno State, Thursday, Feb. 12, before traveling to Las Cruces. Junior guard Kyle Gibson leads the team with 14.0 points per game and junior forward/center Magnum Rolle adds 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
The Aggies have a 7-2 advantage in the all-time series and are 5-0 against the Bulldogs in Las Cruces. NM State has won the last four games in the series including a season sweep last year, 63-54, Jan. 19, 2008, in Las Cruces, and 85-63, Feb. 14, 2008, in Ruston, La.
The Aggies completed a season sweep Louisiana Tech last year with an 85-63 victory, Feb. 14, in Ruston, La. Center Hatila Passos had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead NM State. The Aggies had three other players in double-figures. Guard/forward Justin Hawkins contributed 11 points while both guard Jonathan Gibson and forward Herb Pope added 10.
NM State Records First WAC Win in Reno
In the first nationally televised game of the season, the Aggies defeated Nevada, 62-60, Feb. 7, at Reno, Nev. Sophomore forward Wendell McKines hit a 3-pointer with :59 seconds left in the game to give the Aggies a 62-60 lead, in a contest that was shown on ESPN2. He recorded his 11th double-double of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jahmar Young led the team with 17 points and freshman center Hamidu Rahman supplied 11 points. This is the first Aggie win in Reno since Feb. 3, 2000.
In a League of Their Own
The Aggies are leading the WAC in both individual and team categories. Sophomore forward Wendell McKines ranks first in rebounding (9.6). Freshman guard Hernst Laroche has the league-best assist/turnover ratio (2.91) and sophomore guard Jahmar Young is first in scoring (18.3 points per game) and 3-point field goals made (2.25). He also ranks third in free-throw percentage (83.9). In 3-point field goal percentage, Young ranks first (45.5). Overall, the Aggies rank first in scoring offense (75.9 points per game) and 3-point percentage (40.3) as of Feb. 10.
NM State is competitive nationally and ranks in the top 25 in both individual and team categories. The Aggies are No. 6 in the country in 3-point field goal percentage (40.3). Individually, freshman guard Hernst Laroche is ninth in assist/turnover ratio (2.91) and sophomore forward Wendell McKines is 25th in rebounding (9.6) as of Feb. 8.
Aggies Fall at No. 22 Utah State, 78-59
NM State suffered a 78-59 loss at No. 22 Utah State, Thursday, Feb. 5, in Logan, Utah. Sophomore guard Jahmar Young led the Aggies with 15 points. Junior guard Jonathan Gibson added 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Freshman center Hamidu Rahman was limited to two minutes of action in the first half because of foul trouble but he rebounded with eight second half points.
Young Earns WAC Player of the Week Honor
Sophomore guard Jahmar Young was named the WAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 26-Feb. 1. This is his first career WAC Player of the Week award. He averaged 28.5 points per game and shot 72.7 percent (16-of-22) from the field in a pair of wins over San Jose State and Hawai'i. He was 70 percent (7-of-10) from beyond the arc and 90 percent (18-of-20) from the free-throw line. Young averaged 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block per game. Against San Jose State, he scored a season-high 32 points, one shy of tying his career-high mark. He blocked a career-high two shots against the Spartans and tied his career-best mark for steals (four) and season-best mark for field goal shots made (nine). In the win against Hawai'i, Young led the way with 25 points and seven rebounds. He was a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line and was 3-of-4 from behind the 3-point line.
Aggies to Meet Cal State Fullerton in ESPNU BracketBuster
NM State is hosting Cal State Fullerton, Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Pan American Center, in the ESPNU BracketBuster. The Titans are 11-10 and 5-4 in the Big West. Senior guard Josh Akognon leads the team with 23.0 points per game and freshman guard Jacques Streeter adds 11.5 points per contest. Former Big West foes, the Aggies hold a 23-7 all-time advantage in the series with Cal State Fullerton. NM State has won the last four meetings including the previous matchup, 80-65, March 4, 2000, in Fullerton, Calif. In the last two BracketBuster games, the Aggies defeated Ohio, 77-72, Feb. 17, 2007, and Long Beach State, 80-48, Feb. 23, 2008.
Castillo Tallied Career High, NM State Beats Hawai’i
The Aggies defeated Hawai’i, 82-72, Jan. 31, in Las Cruces. Young had a team-high 25 points. Sophomore guard Gordo Castillo hit four 3-pointers for a career-high 12 point off the bench while junior guard Jonathan Gibson added 14.
Aggies Earn First Season Sweep
NM State defeated San Jose State, 89-81, for the second time this season, Jan. 29, in Las Cruces. Sophomore guard Jahmar Young posted a season-high 32 points to give the Aggies their ninth consecutive victory in the series against the Spartans. Freshman forward Troy Gillenwater finished with 18 points and seven rebounds while junior guard Jonathan Gibson had 12 points.
NM State Offense Stalls at Idaho
Idaho snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Aggies with a 67-57 win, Jan. 24, in Moscow, Idaho. Sophomore guard Jahmar Young collected a team-high 14 points while sophomore guard Gordo Castillo had a career-high 11 points, with eight in the second half. NM State’s 57 points were the lowest point total for the Aggies since a 61-56 loss at Hawai’i, March 2, 2006.
Aggies Suffer First WAC Road Loss at Boise State
The Broncos handed NM State an 87-84 loss, Jan. 22, in Boise, Idaho, despite the Aggies winning the battle of the boards, 45-32. This marks the first game NM State has had a rebounding advantage but lost. Sophomore guard Jahmar Young led the way with a game-high 25 points. Freshman forward Troy Gillenwater recorded his first double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds, which are both career-high marks. Junior guard Jonathan Gibson added 17 points and sophomore forward Wendell McKines supplied 10 points and nine rebounds.
Rahman Sinks Two Free Throws to Secure Win
The Aggies won their second consecutive road game with a 75-73 victory at San Jose State, Jan. 5. The win was also NM State’s first after trailing at halftime and first within five points. With the scored tied at 73, freshman center Hamidu Rahman was fouled on a put back and made two free throws with 2.7 seconds to give the Aggies their first lead since the 2:30 mark. Rahman finished with 13 points, which was his third double-digit game of the season.
Sophomore forward Wendell McKines, an Oakland, Calif., native, returned to the Bay and posted a career-high 21 points to lead the Aggies. He had two three-point plays and a pair of 3-pointers, which was his first multiple 3-point game. Junior guard Jonathan Gibson had a near career-high six assists by halftime.
NM State began its fourth season in the WAC with a 79-66 win at Fresno State, Jan. 3. The Aggies are now 4-0 in WAC openers.
The Aggies host Cal State Fullerton, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m., in the ESPNU BracketBuster.