#3 NMSU Men's Basketball to face #2 Boise State Tonight

#3 NMSU Men's Basketball to face #2 Boise State Tonight
Friday, March 11, 2011 - 12:59pm

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team advanced to the WAC Tournament Semifinals to play No. 2 seed Boise State, Friday, March 11 at 10 p.m. on ESPN2. The game is available on KGRT 104 FM with the ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon calling the action, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip.

New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies defended their WAC Tournament crown with a 66-60 win over Nevada in the tournament quarterfinals, March 10. NM State improved to 16-16 after the victory. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater leads NM State with a team-high 19.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Junior guard Hernst Laroche is averaging 11.5 points and 4.7 assists per contest.

WAC Tournament History
Since joining the WAC in 2005-06, the Aggies have an 11-3 record in the conference tournament. NM State has two tournament titles in 2007 and 2010, and has won two of the last four championships. In head coach Marvin Menzies’ tenure, the Aggies have played in the championship game twice, 2008 and 2010. NM State fell to Boise State in triple overtime, 107-102, March 15, 2008 in Las Cruces, and defeated Utah State, 69-63, March 13, 2010 in Reno, Nev. The Aggies are looking to repeat as champions, which is a feat that hasn’t happened since Hawai’i claimed the WAC Tournament crown in 2001 and 2002.

2010 WAC Tournament Recap
The Aggies won their second WAC Tournament Championship in 2010 as the No. 3 seed with a 69-63 win over Utah State, March 13, 2010. NM State beat tournament host Nevada, 80-79, March 12, 2010, in the semifinals and San Jose State, 90-69, March 11, 2010, in the quarterfinals. With the victory, the Aggies earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament, their 18th appearance in school history.

Aggies Advance with Win over Nevada 66-60
In the 2011 WAC Tournament Quarterfinals, the Aggies defeated Nevada, 66-60, March 10. NM State advanced to the tournament semifinals for the sixth consecutive season. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored a game-high 18 points along with a season-high four blocked shots. Senior guard Gordo Castillo added 14 points, which included a 10-of-10 performance at the free-throw line. Junior guard Hernst Laroche was also in double-digits with 11.

Scouting Boise State
The Broncos finished in second place in the WAC with a 19-11 overall record and 10-6 conference record. Boise State has four players with double-digit averages including 15.4 points per game from senior guard La’Shard Anderson. Senior forwards Robert Arnold (12.6), Paul Noonan (10.5) and Daequon Montreal (10.3) also contribute to the offense.

Series Notes
NM State leads the all-time series 15-10 after each team won on its home floor this season. In neutral site games, the Aggies post a 2-0 lead. Boise State claimed the first meeting of the season, 81-78, in Boise, Idaho, Dec. 31, while the Aggies won the game in Las Cruces, 96-87, in overtime, Jan. 27. In WAC Tournament games, the Aggies have a 2-1 lead. NM State won 88-69, March 9, 2007 in the semifinals in Las Cruces and 80-70, March 12, 2009, in the quarterfinals in Reno, Nev. The Aggies lost 107-102 in triple overtime in the title game, March 15, 2008 in Las Cruces.

Previous Meetings
In their second overtime game of the season, the Aggies survived Boise State, 96-87, Jan. 27. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored a career-high 34 points. Junior guard Hernst Laroche also had a career night with 24 points, and sophomore forward Tyrone Watson recorded his first double-double with a career-high 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Aggies said goodbye to 2010 with its second WAC game of the season at Boise State, but they fell to the Broncos, 81-78, in the New Year’s Eve game. NM State had four players in double-figures with Gillenwater scoring a game-high 24 points. Senior guard Gordo Castillo had 14 points, while sophomore forward Bandja Sy and Laroche supplied 11 and 10 points, respectively.

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