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Aggies Travel to Second Place Denver Saturday

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POSTED: Friday, March 1, 2013 - 5:18pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 1, 2013 - 7:31pm

The New Mexico State men's basketball team returns to WAC play at Denver, Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m. on ESPN regional with Trey Bender and Stephen Howard. The game is shown on Altitude and ESPN3. The game can be heard on the Aggie Sports Network and KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip.

New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies have a 19-9 overall record and 12-3 WAC record after defeating I-10 rival UTEP, 55-51, Feb. 23 in Las Cruces. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 13.9 points per game. Senior forwards Bandja Sy is also in double figures 11.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, while freshman center Sim Bhullar adds 10.0 points per contest.

Scouting Denver
The Pioneers are 18-8 and 13-2 in the WAC. Denver is on a seven-game winning streak after a 63-57 win at Northern Iowa, Feb. 23 in the BracketBusters series, with the Aggies handing the Pioneers their last loss. Junior forward Chris Udofia leads the Pioneers with 12.4 points per game, and sophomore forward Royce O'Neal adds 11.5 points per game.

Series Notes
The Aggies have a 13-5 lead in the all-time series. NM State won the first game of the season, 53-42, Jan. 23 in Las Cruces.

Previous Meeting
NM State beat Denver, 53-42, to extend its winning streak to seven games, Jan. 23 in Las Cruces. The Aggies halted the Pioneers' win streak at seven games. The Aggies had three players in double figures with senior forward Tyrone Watson leading the way with 12 points and six rebounds. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings added 11 points and eight rebounds, while senior forward Bandja Sy supplied 10 points and eight rebounds. The Crimson and White defense harassed Denver and held the Pioneers to 3-of-18 shooting from the 3-point line (13.7 percent). Denver averaged a league-best 8.39 3-pointers per game entering the contest.

Aggies Beat UTEP
NM State used a late 16-3 run to defeat I-10 rival UTEP, 55-51, Feb. 23 in Las Cruces. Junior guard Kevin Aronis scored a game-high 11 points to lead the Aggies to a season spilt with the Miners. Aronis scored all 11 points in the second half on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, including a 3-of-5 performance from the 3-point line. Senior forward Bandja Sy was also in double figures with 10 points. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon had eight points and eight rebounds, and freshman center Sim Bhullar ended the night with six points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in a career-high 37 minutes of action. With his second rejection of the game, Bhullar set the NM State single-season blocked shots record. He now has 60 blocks in his debut season.

National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 17th in blocked shots per game (5.4) and 22nd in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+6.4). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in 19 games. The Aggies are also 59th in field goal percentage defense (40.0). Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is ranked 31st in steals per game (2.14). Freshman center Sim Bhullar is 42nd in blocked shots per game (2.14) as of Feb. 24.
 

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