Aggies to host Grand Canyon in regular season finale

Aggies to host Grand Canyon in regular season finale
New Mexico State

POSTED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 2:33pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 2:34pm

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team plays its final regular season game of the 2013-14 taking on Grand Canyon (14-13, 9-5 WAC), Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m. (MT) in the Pan American Center. Thursday is also ‘Senior Night’ as the athletics department will be honoring senior guard Kevin Aronis and senior forward Renaldo Dixon as they play their final game in Las Cruces. The game airs on the radio in Las Cruces on KGRT 103.9 FM with ‘Voice of the Aggies,’ Jack Nixon giving the play-by-play action. The game is also being produced for television by the AggieVision Production team. Check with your local cable or satellite provider for air times. Live stats are available online at and in-game score updates are given on Twitter @NMStateAggies.

Looking Ahead
The Aggies will play in the 2014 Western Athletic Conference Tournament, Thursday, March 13 through Saturday, March 15 at The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The Aggies are currently the No. 2 seed and if it remains that way they would take on the No. 7 seed at 9:30 p.m. (MT) on Thursday, March 13. Idaho is currently the No. 7 seed. All games will be aired on the Aggie Sports Network with 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 by clicking on the game recap.

About the Aggies
The Aggies are 22-9 overall and 11-4 in Western Athletic Conference play after picking up a 72-57 win over Bakersfield March 1, Saturday. NM State sits at second in the WAC behind Utah Valley.

The Aggies went into Saturday’s game after a loss to Utah Valley in overtime, 66-61, in Orem, Utah, Feb. 27. Prior to the loss the Aggies had a four game win streak with wins over Seattle, Feb. 8, followed by a two game home stretch against Kansas City on Feb. 13 and Chicago State Feb. 15 before hitting the road again beating Texas Pan-American Feb. 20.

NM State is averaging 77.6 points per game this season while shooting 49.0 percent from the field. They are shooting well from behind the three-point arc as well, hitting 36.8 percent of their three point attempts. The NM State defense is holding its opponents to 40.3 percent from the field and out-rebounding opponents by an average of 37.0 per game to 32.7 per game (+4.3 rebounding margin).

Junior guard Daniel Mullings leads all scorers on the squad with 17.0 points per game and is also the defensive leader on the team with 59.0 steals on the season. Mullings is also second in the WAC in steals per game with 1.97 per game. He also has 102 assists on the year and is top ten in the league in that category.

Sophomore center Sim Bhullar returned to the court Thursday, Jan. 30, after missing six straight games due to a foot injury, leads the team and the WAC in blocked shots with 89 blocks on the year. Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is the team leader in rebounds with 7.8 rebounds per game and is second on the team and the WAC in blocked shots with 49, which includes a career high six blocks against Idaho Jan. 11.

Senior Guard Kevin Aronis leads the Aggies in three-point shooting percentage hitting 43.6 percent of shots beyond the arc and is No. 5 in the WAC in three pointers per game with 2.19 a contest.

Senior forward/center Renaldo Dixon made 11 consecutive starts, which ended on Feb. 15, against Chicago State and is averaging 25.7 minutes per competition. He is posting 8.8 points per game and grabbing 5.6 rebounds per game.

Looking Back
The New Mexico State men’s basketball team defeated Bakersfield 72-57, Saturday, March 1, 2014 in Bakersfield, Calif. as sophomore center Sim Bhullar and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe each posted double-doubles. NM State moved to 22-9 overall and 11-4 in WAC play, while the Runners fell to 12-17 overall and 5-10 in the WAC.

Bhullar posted 13 points while grabbing 12 rebounds and adding a team-high five blocks. Nephawe marked a game-high 15 points to go along with a career-high 16 rebounds and five total blocks. Three other Aggies hit double-digit total points including junior guard DK Eldridge (12), junior guard Daniel Mullings (14), and freshman guard Travon Landry (12). NM State shot at 51.0 percent from the field and went 26-51 at the line.

Series History versus Grand Canyon
This will be the third meeting between NM State and Grand Canyon. The first game between the two teams ended with a win by the Aggies 75-60 on Jan. 10, 1984. During the 2013-2014, NM State came out with their second win against Grand Canyon 84-62 in Phoenix, Ariz. on Jan. 4, 2014.

Jan. 10, 1984 … Home … 75-60
Jan. 4, 2014 … Away … 84-62

Scouting the ‘Lopes
The ‘Lopes are currently sitting at a 14-13 overall record and 9-5 conference record. Grand Canyon is coached by Dan Majerle, who is in his first season with the team. Jerome Garrison is the top scorer for the ‘Lopes and Killian Larson is the top returning rebounder. GCU is currently sitting in the No. 3 spot on the WAC standings, however, is not eligible to participate in post-season play.

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