Aggies Take on UTPA, Thursday in Edinburg, Texas
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  02/17/2014

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team heads to Edinburg, Texas to face Texas-Pan American in a Western Athletic Conference road game, Thursday, Feb. 20 with tip-off set for 6 p.m. (MT). The game is scheduled to air over the radio waves in Las Cruces with ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon giving the play-by-play action on KGRT 103.9 FM. Live stats are available online free of charge at www.NMStateSports.com while stat and score updates are given on Twitter @NMStateAggies.

Looking Ahead

NM State takes on Utah Valley next Thursday, Feb. 27 in Orem, Utah. Following the game against Texas-Pan American, the Utah Valley game is set to air on the radio with coverage on KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces. Radio coverage for both games 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 has had two seven-game winning streaks this season with the first starting on Nov. 9 against Tennessee State in Honolulu. The final victory of that streak was against Prairie View A&M as the Aggies won 91-60 in Las Cruces on Nov. 27. The second seven-game winning streak began on Dec. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa when NM State defeated Drake 81-63 in overtime. The final victory of that streak came against Idaho on Jan. 11 when NM State won 78-54 in the Pan American Center. The winning streak was snapped by Chicago State on Jan. 16, when they fell 86-81 on the road. The Aggies then lost their second straight Western Athletic Conference game of the year to Kansas City 68-66 on the road as well, Jan.  18.  However, the Aggies managed to recover with three consecutive home victories, including a dominating 72-49 win over first place Utah Valley, Saturday, Feb. 1.

The Aggies have recovered from the loss on the road to Idaho on Feb. 6, and responded with a three game winning streak. They are now sitting at 9-3 in league play after a 92-77 road victory against conference opponent Seattle in Seattle, Washington on Feb. 8, and back-to-back home wins also coming against conference opponents Kansas City on Feb. 13 and Chicago State on Feb. 15.

NM State is averaging 78.4 points per game this season while shooting 48.8 percent from the field. They are shooting fairly well from behind the 3-point arc as well, hitting 36.7 percent of their 3-point attempts. The NM State defense is holding its opponents to a 40.8 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 16.9 points per game and is also the defensive leader of the team with a league 52 steals on the year. He also leads the Western Athletic Conference in steals per game averaging 1.93 per competition. He also has 87 assists on the year, and is in the top-10 in the league in that category.

Sophomore center Sim Bhullar, who returned to the court on Thursday, Jan. 30 after missing six straight games due to a foot injury, leads the team and the WAC in blocked shots with 76 blocks on the season. Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is the team leader in rebounds with 7.8 per game and he is also second on the team and the WAC with 42 blocks on the year, which includes a career-high six blocks against Idaho (Jan. 11).

Senior guard Kevin Aronis leads the Aggies in 3-point shooting percentage hitting 42.7 percent of his attempts and is No. 5 in the WAC in 3-pointers per game with 2.2 per contest. Junior KC Ross-Miller is second on the team in 3-point shooting percentage going 39.0 percent from behind the 3-point arc (23-of-59).

Senior forward/center Renaldo Dixon made 11 consecutive starts which ended on Feb. 15, against Chicago State and is averaging 25.2 minutes per competition. He is posting 8.9 points per game and is grabbing 5.7 rebounds per game.

Looking Back

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team defeated Chicago State, 84-55 in the Pan American Center Saturday, Feb. 15. The Aggies improve to 20-8 on the season and 9-3 in WAC play, while Chicago State falls to 10-14 overall and 5-5 in the league. The 20th win of the 2013-14 season marks the fifth time under head coach Marvin Menzies that NM State has reached the 20-win mark.

Renaldo Dixon led the Aggies with 20 points, while also leading the team in rebounds with nine. DK Eldridge added 17 points, followed by Mullings with 15. The Aggies shot 55.8 percent from the floor on the night while holding Chicago State to 40.4 percent.

Eldridge led the Aggies in the half with 11 points, followed by Mullings with 10. As a team, NM State shot 63 percent in the half, while holding the Cougars to 42.2 percent shooting. The Aggies also out rebounded the Cougars 22-12 in the first half.

In the final eight minutes of the game, the Aggies emptied the bench, getting some of the reserves valuable playing time. Dixon paced the Aggies in the final minutes of the game, scoring a quite 16 points with 3:32 still to play in the game, as NM State held a 75-51 lead. They went up by 30 with 1:51 after a Buovac free throw, giving NM State an 83-53 lead.

Series History versus Texas-Pan American

The Aggies are 7-3 all-time against UTPA and are 1-2 when playing the Broncs on the road. This will be the 11th meeting between NM State and UTPA. The last time they met the Aggies defeated the Broncs, 90-78, Jan. 25 in Las Cruces, NM. Their first meeting was Jan. 8, 1969 in Las Cruces, NM with a final score of 109-74. 

1/08/69…Home…….109-74 (W)

2/10/77…Home…….107-105 (W)

12/17/77...Away……..120-97 (L)

1/12/80…Away……..79-78 (W)

12/18/80...Home……..77-73 (L)

2/11/02…Away……...100-86 (L)

11/22/02...Neutral…….62-59 (W)

1/18/03….Home……...64-50 (W)

3/1/05…..Home………78-61 (W)

Scouting the Broncs

This season will be the second time the NM State Aggies face off against the Texas-Pan American Broncs.

The Broncs are led by head coach Dan Hipsher in his first season with the team. He is assisted by Andy Hipsher, Elwyn McRoy and Cody Hopkins all in their first season with the team. 

Texas Pan-American has an overall record of 8-19 with a 3-8 record at home. The Broncs are led by senior guard, Javorn Farrell in scoring and assists, averaging 16.0 points per game with 3.4 assists per game. Just trailing Farrell in scoring and assists is junior guard Shaquille Boga at 14.0 points per game and 3.3 assists per game.

As a team, the Wolverines have a -4.5 scoring margin. Throughout the season they have tallied 925 rebounds, 342 assists and average a 41.1 field goal percentage.

Last Game Against Texas Pan-American

Junior guard Daniel Mullings posted a career-high 32 points against Texas-Pan American when NM State defeated the Broncs 90-78 in the Pan American Center on Saturday, Jan. 25. NM State moved to 15-7 on the year and 4-2 in Western Athletic Conference play, while UTPA fell to 6-15 overall and 2-4 in the league after the loss.

The Aggies outscored the Broncs throughout the entire game hitting 56.9 percent from the field. NM State trailed UTPA for the majority of the first half pulling ahead with eight minutes left before the half after a layup from junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe. The Aggies kept a steady lead for the remainder of the game and ended with Daniel Mullings making the last two free throws of the night.

Mullings went 9-15 from the field, while going 13-15 from the line. Nephawe led the team with 15 total rebounds and junior guard KC Ross-Miller with six assists on the game. As a team, the Aggies out rebounded the Broncs, 36-25.

Players to Watch (Renaldo Dixon and Tshilidzi Nephawe)

Senior forward Renaldo Dixon is making an impact for the Aggies during the 2013-14 season. The Canadian native is coming off of a career-high 33 points going 13-of-19 from the field at Kansas City (Jan. 18). He also had a career-high 14 rebounds at San Jose State (Feb. 14) and a career-high five blocked shots at UTSA (Feb. 2).

Dixon is averaging 8.9 points per game this season. He is shooting over 50 percent from the field (55.8) and is one of the top three rebounders for the Aggies (5.7 per game).

Dixon is tied for fourth in the WAC in offensive rebounds (2.58 avg./game) and fourth in blocked shots averaging 1.25 per game. Dixon’s WAC field goal percentage puts him at the top of the stat sheets hitting 60.9 percent from the field.

Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe was just shy of averaging a double-double last week posting 11.5 points per game while grabbing 9.5 rebounds per game. Nephawe pulled down 13 rebounds and scored 15 points to lead the Aggies to a dominant 71-48 win over Kansas City, Thursday, Feb. 13.  He followed that up with eight points and six rebounds as NM State defeated Chicago State 84-55, Saturday, Feb. 15. Nephawe finished the week with six blocks as the Aggies won by a combined 52 points in the Pan American Center.

Aggie Free Throws

NM State is currently ranked second in the nation for free throw attempts (828) as well as for free throws made (568). With a 68.6 free throw percentage, the Aggies place fourth in the WAC for overall games but sixth in WAC only games with a 67.6 free throw percentage.

KC Ross-Miller (83.2) and Renaldo Dixon (77.8) lead the way for the Aggies from the charity stripe. NM State’s Daniel Mullings has more attempted shots than any other Aggie and has made more free throw shots than any other player.

During the 2013-2014 season, both Ross-Miller and Mullings have had extended streaks for free throws made.

Ross-Miller’s streak began against New Mexico on Dec. 4, 2013 when he went 2-for-2 on the line. Ross-Miller made consecutive free throws for eight games of the season totaling 27 free throws during those games. The streak was broken when the Aggies played Seattle U at the Pan American Center and Ross-Miller went 2-for-6 on the line. On the season, Ross-Miller has shot 100 percent from the free throw line 16 games totaling 53 points during that time.

Mullings has been perfect from the line for eight games during the 2013-2014 season. His consecutive streak began against Texas Pan-American where he went 13-15, making the last two free throw shots of the game. Mullings made 22 consecutive free throws until facing Idaho on Feb. 6 where he went 2-for-4 during the game. He is currently in the midst of another free throw streak which began in the second half of a conference game against Seattle on Feb. 8, when he made his final free throw attempt of the night. The streak is currently at seven consecutive free throws made. Mullings has notched 36 points from the free throw line through eight games where he finished 100 percent from the line.

20 or more Win Seasons

With a victory over Chicago State on Feb. 15, the 2013-14 Aggies became the 27th team in NM State history to reach 20 or more wins in a season.

Under Coach Marvin Menzies, the Aggies have reached 20 or more wins five times, starting in Menzies’ first season as head coach, 2007-08.  Under Menzies, the Aggies best record thus far was in 2011-12 where the Aggies finished 26-10, making a trip to the NCAA tournament.

NM State’s best season came under Aggie great, coach Lou Henson.  Henson coached the Aggies to a 27-3 record during the 1969-70 season, making it to the NCAA tournament and advancing all the way to the Final Four. 

Aggies in the WAC

The Aggies are currently sitting in second place in the WAC with a 9-3 record.  With an overall record of 20-8, NM State has the best overall record of any WAC team.

With losses coming to Chicago State, Kansas City and Idaho, the Aggies trail Utah Valley by half a game.  After a two game home stretch where the Aggies picked up wins against UMKC and Chicago State, they will now hit the road for an extended road trip that includes a matchup with current number one Utah Valley.

Leading the WAC in scoring (78.4 ppg), scoring margin (+10), field goal percentage (.488) and blocked shots a game (6.36), the Aggies go into this road stretch with a three game win streak. 

Sitting third on scoring in the WAC with 16.9 points per game, Daniel Mullings leads NM States offense while Sim Bhullar and Tshilidzi Nephawe hold down the defense with 3.45 and 1.5 blocked shots a game, being first and second in the WAC for blocked shots. 

The Aggies have players in the top five of every stat category, while as a team they sit towards the top of all stats as well.

Aggies in the Nation (As of Feb. 17)

Aggies moved up to second in the nation in free throws made (568) and remained second in the nation in free throws attempted (828) after being ranked first in both categories through the first half of the year.  The Aggies moved up two spots to third in the nation in total blocks with 178 on the season.  The Aggies have reversed their slide down the leader board, now ranking 14th in the nation with 1035 total rebounds after previously being ranked 23rd in the nation. The Aggies field goal percentage improved to 48.8 percent on the season, moving them to 13th in the nation.

Sophomore center Sim Bhullar is sixth in the nation in blocked shots per game with 3.45 blocks a game, while junior guard Daniel Mullings moved to 37th in the nation in total steals with 52 steals on the year.  Kevin Aronis is still making an impact from deep, being ranked 89th in the nation in total three-point field goals made, with 61 on the season.

Mullings with another steal

Guard Daniel Mullings leads the team in steals with 52 this season. Mullings has 25 steals in conference games. The Aggies have a total of 137 steals and 58 in conference games this season.

Mullings tied a career-high seven steals against Seattle University on January 9. Mullings had a total of five steals on Jan. 16 against Chicago State. NM State is averaging 4.9 steals per game compared to their opponent’s average of 5.3 steals versus the Aggies.

Mullings has 189 steals on his career and is No. 3 on the all-time steals list at NM State behind former Aggie guard and current Las Cruces head coach William Benjamin, who posted 209 steals from 1988-92.

Career Steals at NM State

1. Hearnst Leroche (2008-12) – 216

2. William Benjamin (1988-92) – 209

3. Daniel Mullings (2012-Present) – 189

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 game 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 5-14 from the field while also making 6-9 free-throws to finish with 17 points.

Mullings has scored 455 points this season and now has 1,272 points in his career.  He is currently averaging 16.9 points per game this season and is looking to continue his climb up the all-time scoring list.  Mullings currently sits alone at No. 13 on the list after he recently surpassed former Aggie Charles Gosa (1995-99), who scored 1,233 points during his time at NM State.

Mullings now needs 84 more points to tie No. 12 on the list, former Aggie great Steve Colter (1981-84).  Colter put in 1,333 points when he averaged 19.5 points during his senior season (1983-84).

If Mullings maintains this pace, by the end of the regular season he could 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 Rahmad 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

11. Ernest Patterson (1980-83) – 1,419

12. Steve Colter (1981-84) – 1,333

13. Daniel Mullings (2012-Present) – 1,272

14. Charles Gosa (1995-99) – 1,233

15. Johnny Roberson (1986-89) – 1,223

16. Hernst Laroche (2008-12) – 1,209

17. Keith Hill (1987-90) – 1,201

18. “Super” John Williamson (1971-73) – 1,168

Foreign Players at NM State

Out of 524 NCAA Division 1 players, the Aggies are recognized as one of four schools for having the most foreign players on the roster.  With seven foreigners, NM State joins Eastern Washington, Maine and Nicholas St. as having the highest number of foreign players, with a majority of the Aggies players coming from Canada and Australia.

Big man Tshilidzi Nephawe, from Johannesburg, South Africa, leads the Aggies in rebounds with 7.8 rebounds a game for a total of 217.  From Toronto, Ontario, Canada, center Sim Bhullar leads the aggies in blocks with 76 on the season.  Also from  Toronto, guard Daniel Mullins leads the team in points and steals, averaging 16.9 points per game and with a total of 52 steal on the season.

Renaldo Dixon, also from Toronto, averages 8.9 points a game to go along with his 160 rebounds and 29 blocks.  Bhullar also leads the team in field goal percentage at .661.  Remi Barry from Paris, France, is out indefinitely after injuring his knee against Colorado State earlier this season.

Slam Dunk

NM State has dunked the ball 103 times compared to its opponents only dunking on the Aggies 43 times this year. Sim Bhullar leads the way with 31 dunks after slamming it down on Hawai’I six times. Renaldo Dixon is catching up to Bhullar with 24 dunks this year and Tshilidzi Nephawe is just behind with 22.

Daniel Mullingss has had some of the most entertaining dunks, with one put-back dunk against Northern Colorado making ESPN Sportscenter’s Top-1 Plays, at No. 6, on Nov. 21, 2013.

Bhullar with another Block

Sophomore center Sim Bhullar broke the school record for blocks in a single game when he tallied 10 blocked shots in a 91-60 win over Prairie View A&M, Nov. 27 in the Pan American Center. That day the Aggies tallied 14 blocks as a team, which is also a new school record at NM State. Former Aggie All-American James Moore is the former record holder for blocks in a game as he tallied eight blocks against North Texas on Feb 7, 2004. The previous school record for blocked shots by an Aggie team was 12. NM State marked 12 blocks against Creighton, Jan 12, 1978, and against UTSA, Feb. 2, 2013.

Bhullar currently has 161 blocks on his career and has surpassed former Aggie center Hamidu Rahman, who played for the Aggies from 2008-12, on the all-time blocked shot list at NM State after making one block against South Alabama. Bhullar has tallied at least one block shot in 36 straight games he has played in while recording three or more blocks in 10 games this season.

Through 14 games in last season, Bhullar only had 29 blocks, compared to his 53 blocks after 17 games this season. At his current pace of 3.5 blocks per game, Bhullar is on track to block 108 shots this season, smashing the current-single season blocks record at NM State, which he currently holds (85).  He needs just nine more blocks to tie the single-season record.

Blocked Shots (career)

1. James Moore (2002-03), 200

2. Sim Bhullar (2012-Present), 161

3. Hamidu Rahman (2008-12), 137

4. Slab Jones (1976-80), 124

5. Charles Gosa (1995-99), 116

Blocked Shots (season)

1. Sim Bhullar (2012-13) – 85

2. Sim Bhullar (2013-14) – 76

3. Roland Grant (1973-74) – 58

4. Sam Lacey (1968-69) – 53

5. James Moore (2000-01) – 52

   Clyde Jordan (1994-95) – 52

Slam Dunk

NM State has dunked the ball 103 times compared to its opponents only dunking on the Aggies 43 times this year. Sim Bhullar leads the way with 31 dunks after slamming it down on Hawai’I six times. Renaldo Dixon is catching up to Bhullar with 24 dunks this year and Tshilidzi Nephawe is just behind with 22.

Daniel Mullings has had some of the most entertaining dunks, with one put-back dunk against Northern Colorado making ESPN Sportscenter’s Top-10 Plays, at No. 6, on Nov. 21, 2013.

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