The New Mexico State men's basketball team hits the road to meet Southern Mississippi for the second time this season, Sunday, Dec. 4 at noon in Hattiesburg, Miss. The game is available on KGRT 104 FM with Kyle Doperalski, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip. The Aggies look to avenge their first loss of the season to the Golden Eagles.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies are 5-2 this season after falling short against Arizona, 83-76, Nov. 29, in Las Cruces. NM State has four players in double figures with redshirt senior Wendell McKines leading the way with 18.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Christian Kabongo adds 15.4 points per contest, while junior forward Bandja Sy is averaging 10.3 points per game. Senior guard Hernst Laroche provides 10.0 points and 4.4 assists per game.
Scouting Southern Mississippi
The Golden Eagles are 4-2 after falling to Murray State, 90-81, in double overtime in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout Championship game, Nov. 26. Junior guard LaShay Page has a team-high 17.0 points per game. Redshirt senior guard Angelo Johnson adds 12.7 points per game, while redshirt senior guard Maurice Bolden is contributing 11.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest.
The all-time series is tied 1-1 after this season's previous meeting that Southern Miss won, 80-72, Nov. 25, in Anchorage, Alaska. The Aggies won the first-ever meeting with Southern Miss, 81-77, in the first round of the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla., Dec. 28, 1978. This is the first game to be played on a campus site in the series.
The Aggies suffered their first loss of the season to Southern Mississippi, 80-72, in the semifinals of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout. NM State had three players in double figures with sophomore guard Christian Kabongo leading the way with 19 points. He tied the shootout record for individual free-throw percentage (100) with a 15-of-15 showing at the line. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines contributed 17 points, while junior forward Tyrone Watson scored 10. Southern Miss is the only school to out-rebound the Aggies this season, 38-26.
McKines Scores Career-High 28, Aggies Fall Short
NM State fell short against Arizona, 83-76, in its first home game inside the Pan American Center versus a BCS conference school since December 2005. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines had a career high for the Aggies with 28 points and a 4-of-7 performance from the 3-point line. He also recorded his fourth double-double of the season and 31st of his career with 10 rebounds. Senior center Hamidu Rahman was vital inside with a season-high 13 points along with eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Christian Kabongo was also in double-figures with 15 points.
McKines Rewrites the Record Books
With his career performance against Arizona, Nov. 29, redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines is only two points shy of 1,000 career points. With his next basket, McKines would become the 28th member of the 1,000-point club at NM State. He also moved into fourth on the Aggies all-time rebounding list with 828 rebounds after 10 boards against the Wildcats. McKines surpassed Billy Joe Price on the list.