Aggies End Road Trip in The Pit; Watch on ESPN3
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  12/16/2013

NM State at New Mexico Coverage

Internet: ESPN3 (announcers: Trey Bender, Play-by-Play; Blaine Fowler, Analysis)

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 (8-5) wraps its four-game, 10-day road swing taking on Rio Grande Rival, New Mexico in The Pit, Tuesday, Dec. 16.  The game against the Lobos in Albuquerque is set of a 7:05 p.m. (MT) tip-off with radio coverage on KGRT 103.9 FM.  Fans can listen to the radio coverage provided by NM State Hall of Fame inductee, Jack Nixon starting at 6:30 p.m. (MT) on the Aggie Sports Network.  Internet coverage will be provided on ESPN3.com.  Live stats are available online at www.NMStateSports.com under the live events link and in-game updates will be given on Twitter @NMStateAggies. 

Looking Ahead

The Aggies return home for two games during the holiday season. NM State plays Northern New Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 21 and then have a week off before taking on South Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 28.  Both games start at 7 p.m. (MT) and are scheduled to air on the radio with ‘Voice of the Aggies’ and Hall of Famer, Jack Nixon giving the play-by-play action. 

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

The Aggies are currently 8-5 on the season, having dropped its last four of its last five games. After defeating Drake this past Saturday, the Aggies are 3-3 on the road, while holding a 4-1 record while playing in the Pan American Center. The Aggies are out-rebounding their opponent by 2.5 boards per game this season, although NM State struggled during its four game skid with a -9.7 rebound margin during that time.  The Crimson and White tied Drake University with 47 boards in the overtime win.

As a team, the Aggies are averaging 75.3 points per game, outscoring their opponents by 4.5 points per game. NM State is shooting 46.5 percent from the field, 33.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc and 68.2 percent from the free throw line. On the boards, NM State is pulling down 37.3 rebounds a game, while recording 5.6 blocks, 4.8 steals and 12.1 assists a game. Four Aggies are shooting over 80 percent from the charity stripe.

Daniel Mullings leads the Aggies with 16.8 points per game, shooting 46.7 percent from the field. He also leads the Aggies in steals with 21. Sim Bhullar is shooting a team-leading 68.1 percent from the floor, while also leading the team in rebounds (98) and blocks (42). K.C. Ross-Miller leads the squad with 46 assists, while shooting a team-best 87.7 percent at the free throw line. DK Eldridge is hot from the 3-point line, making 43.9 percent of his attempts, while Renaldo Dixon is second on the team from the free throw line, knocking down 83.3 percent of his attempts.

When the Aggies Return Home

Ole’ Saint Nick also known as Santa Claus will visit the Pan American Center, Dec. 21st prior to the NM State men’s basketball game against Northern New Mexico. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. (MT)

Kids 12 and under are free and are encouraged to come to the game and tell Santa what they want for Christmas. Santa will be in the northeast concourse starting at 5:30 p.m.

Fans can also bring two unwrapped toys to donate to ‘Toys for Tots’ and receive a $5 ticket. At halftime, Santa will invite all kids wanting to participate to come down to the floor for a halftime dance. Also at halftime, there will be a Teddy Bear Toss where fans can toss stuffed animals onto the Pan Am floor. The toys will be collected and given to 'Toys for Tots'.

Scouting the Lobos

New Mexico, which returns six lettermen and four starters from the 2012-13 season, is currently 7-2 this season.  The Lobos, who went 29-6 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s second round last year, opened the 2013-14 season with three straight wins before losing to Massachusetts in the Charleston Classic, have won four of their last five games.  Their most recent loss came at the hands of nationally ranked Kansas on the road.

The Lobos won their fourth regular season championship in the last five years in 2013. They are led offensively by Cameron Bairstow, who is posting 20.2 points per game.  He was an honorable mention all-conference selection last year.  Guard Kendall Williams, who was the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in 2013, is averaging 19.7 points per game and is 16-of-35 (46%) from 3-point range. Center Alex Kirt, a New Mexico native, leads the Lobos on the boards with 9.8 per game. 

UNM is scoring 79.6 points per game and holding its opponents to 72 points per contest.  The Lobos have been decent from behind the 3-point arc hitting 30.6 percent of their 3-pointers and are out-rebounding their opponents by 7.3 boards per game.  New Mexico is also handling the ball pretty well with only 12.6 turnovers per game while dishing out 15.2 assists per game for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.2.

Aggies versus New Mexico

This is the 212th meeting between NM State and the Lobos.  UNM leads the all-time series 116-95 after the Aggies fell 79-70 in Las Cruces earlier this year. The first meeting between the two teams was on Dec. 22, 1904 with the Aggies falling 21-9 in overtime.   NM State is 37-70 on the road against the Lobos and has not won in The Pit since Nov. 16, 2011 when it walked out with a 62-53 victory.  UNM has won 11 of the last 12 games and nine out of 10 in The Pit.

Last 10 Games between the Aggies and the Lobos

Date; Place; Score (Winner)

12/23/08; Albuquerque, 76-62 (Lobos)

12/30/08; Las Cruces; 68-66 (Lobos)

11/17/09; Las Cruces; 97-87 (Lobos)

12/5/09; Albuquerque; 75-58 (Lobos)

12/4/10; Las Cruces; 84-78 overtime (Lobos)

12/11/10; Albuquerque; 78-62 (Lobos)

11/16/11; Albuquerque; 62-53 (Aggies)

12/28/11; Las Cruces; 89-69 (Lobos)

12/15/12; Albuquerque; 73-58 (Lobos)

12/19/12; Las Cruces; 68-63 (Lobos)

12/4/13; Las Cruces; 79-70 (Lobos)

Last Time against the Lobos (recap of game on Dec. 4, 2013)

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team lost its first home game of the season, and first in 16 contests at home, after falling to New Mexico, 79-70, Wednesday, Dec. 4, inside a packed Pan American Center. The Aggies are now 7-3 on the season while the Lobos improve to 6-1.

NM State had not lost a home matchup in almost a year.  UNM also handed the Aggies’ their only home loss during last season’s schedule.

The Lobos held a 10-point advantage at the half and NM State just could not cut into that lead during the second half of play.  Every time the Aggies made a run, UNM answered right back.

NM State finished the game shooting 38.7 percent (24-62) from the field to the Lobos’ 43.1 (22-51).  But it was shots from beyond the three-point arc that separated the two teams.  The Aggies only sank 21.1 percent of their threes (4-19) while UNM made half of its threes (6-12).  14 turnovers also did not help the NM State cause.

One bright spot for the Aggies was their free-throw shooting.  NM State was perfect from the line in the second half and finished the game shooting 90 percent (18-20) from the charity stripe.

Junior guard Daniel Mullings led the Aggies finishing with a team-high 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting and also added six rebounds.  Senior forward Renaldo Dixon was right behind with a career-high 15 points.  Sophomore center Sim Bhullar was the only NM State player to finish with double-digit rebounds, marking 10.

Last Time the Aggies were in The Pit (recap of game on Dec. 15, 2012)

The New Mexico State men's basketball team fell at No. 17/20 New Mexico, 73-58. Guard Daniel Mullings scored a team-high 14 points for the Aggies (5-5).

Center Sim Bhullar and added nine points, while sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had eight.

The first 20 minutes of action was a half filled with runs. Down eight, 16-8, with 12:23 to play in the first half, the Aggie defense increased the pressure. NM State used a 6-1 rally to cut UNM's lead to 17-14 on a fast break dunk from senior forward Bandja Sy at 9:22. de Rouen also hit a 3-pointer from the corner to spark the Aggies off the bench in the run.

After the Lobos countered with an 11-2 run to take a 28-16 lead with 5:33 left in the first half, the Aggies hit the next three shots with scoring from the bench. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon supplied a three-point play and sophomore forward Remi Barry added a 3-pointer to trim UNM's lead to six, 30-24, at the 3:20 mark of the first half. The bench contributed 13 points for the Aggies in the first half.

NM State trailed UNM, 39-37, at the break with Mullings leading the Crimson and White with seven points. Dixon added five points on 2-of-3 shooting.

Cold shooting in the second half hampered the comeback as the Aggies only made three of their first 17 shots in the second period. NM State then made 4-of-6 shots with five points from Mullings and a 3-pointer from de Rouen to cut UNM's lead to 67-55 with 4:04 to play. NM State shot 26.7 percent from the field in the second half (8-of-30).

Looking Back (recap of game versus Drake)

Sophomore center Sim Bhullar tallied his third double-double of the year and junior guard K.C. Ross-Miller hit all eight of his free throw attempts to lead the New Mexico State men’s basketball team to an 81-69 overtime win against Drake University, Saturday, Dec. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Bhullar scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to help his team move to 8-5 on the year.  Ross-Miller scored 14 points and had five assists as Drake put him to the free throw line six times in the last minute of regulation and twice more in overtime.

The Aggies finished shooting 45 percent from the field after hitting 5-of-8 field goals in overtime; although NM State was held to just 33 percent in the second half.  The Aggies also hit 7-of-15 3-pointers on the night with senior guard Kevin Aronis leading the charge going 4-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc. Aronis tied his career-high of 12 points as he also had two rebounds.

Sophomore Matej Buovac was 2-for-2 from 3-point range to help his team pick up the win while junior forward Tshilidzi Nephawe had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Playing Well Last Week

Sophomore center Sim Bhullar averaged 12.5 points per game and shot 59 percent (10-of-17) from the field as the Aggies fell to No. 1 Arizona in Tucson before bouncing back to defeat Drake in an overtime game in Des Moines, Iowa.  He also averaged 9.5 rebounds per game and posted five blocks (2.5/game) and two steals on the defensive side of the court. After struggling against the top team in the nation, Bhullar played a dominant game against the Bulldogs on the road.  He helped the team to an 81-69 win posting a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds.  Bhullar now has a WAC-high 42 blocks this season.

Junior guard K.C. Ross Miller tallied 10.5 points per game and averaged 30 minutes per game last week.  He was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line, including a perfect 8-of-8 in a win over Drake on the road.  Six of eight of his free throws came with less the 50 seconds in regulation, while his final two came in overtime as the Aggies won 81-69 in overtime.

Mullings Climbs the Steals List

This season, guard Daniel Mullings leads the team in steals with 21. Currently, he ranks fifth on the all-time list with 158, just four steals away from the No. 4 spot held by former Aggie great Randy Brown. Mullings is averaging 1.6 steals per game this season. In 13 games, Mullings has recorded seven games with at least two steals, including four games with three steals. If Mullings keeps his current pace of 1.6 steals per game, by the end of the regular season he will rank third all-time with 186.

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 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. He now has 1,029 points during his time in the Crimson & White and surpassed former Aggie guard Billy Keys on the all-time scoring list.

Mullings has scored 219 points this season and now has 1,036 points on his career.  He is currently averaging 16.8 points per game this season and is looking to climb the all-time scoring list.   Mullings moved up two spots to No. 28 on the all-time list with 18 points against No. 1 Arizona. He needs one point to tie for the No. 27 spot.  Truman Ward (1971-73) scored 1,037 points in 76 games with NM State.

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).

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 127 blocks on his career and is in the No. 3 spot on the all-time blocked shots list at NM State after marking two blocks against No. 1 Arizona on Dec. 11.  He surpassed former Aggie Slab Jones, who marked 124 career blocks from 1976-80, in an overtime win against Drake, Dec. 14.  Bhullar can move into the No. 2 spot on the all-time list with 10 more blocks.

Twelve games in last season, Bhullar only had 16 blocks, compared to his 39 blocks after 12 games this season. At his current pace of 3.3 blocks per game, Bhullar is on track to block 105 shots this season, smashing the current-single season blocks record at NM State, which he currently holds (85).

Former Aggie Roland is in the No. 2 spot for blocked shots in a season with 58 during the 1973-74 season.

Blocked Shots (career)

1. James Moore (2000-03), 200

2. Hamidu Rahman (2008-12), 137     

3. Sim Bhullar (2012-Present), 127

4. Slab Jones (1976-80), 124

5. Charles Gosa (1995-99), 116

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