Aggies look to bounce back against UT Pan American

Aggies look to bounce back against UT Pan American
New Mexico State
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 4:25pm

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team (14-7, 3-2 WAC) takes on Texas-Pan American, Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. (MT) in the Pan American Center. AggieVision is producing the game for TV and fans should check local listings for airtimes in your area. Saturday’s game will also air over the radio waves on the Aggie Sports Network with ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon giving the play-by-play.

Looking Ahead
NM State plays two games in the Pan American Center next week taking on Bakersfield, Thursday, Jan. 29 and Utah Valley on Saturday, Feb. 1 with both games set for a 7 p.m. (MT) start. Both games will be on the radio with coverage on KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces, while they are also scheduled to be on TV with AggieVision producing them. Please check with your local satellite or cable provider for show times or check online at Radio coverage on the Aggie Sports Network includes 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
NM State had its seven-game winning streak snapped by Chicago State on Thursday, Jan. 16 by falling 86-81 then lost its second straight Western Athletic Conference game of the year falling to Kansas City 68-66 on the road. The Aggies are now sitting at 3-2 in league play but return to the Pan American Center where they are 8-1 on the year.

The Aggies are averaging 77.6 points per game this season and are shooting 47.6 percent from the field, while they are shooting fairly well from behind the 3-point arc as well, hitting 37.6 percent of their 3-point attempts. The NM State defense is holding its opponents to a 41.1 percent shooting percentage on the year and is out-rebounding the opposing teams by an average of 37.0 per game to 33.2 per game (+3.8 rebounding margin).

Junior guard Daniel Mullings leads all scorers on the squad with 16.2 points per game and is also the defensive leader of the team with a league-high 43 steals this season. He also has 68 assists on the offensive end of the court and seven blocks on the defensive side.

Sophomore Sim Bhullar, who has sat out the last five games due to a foot injury, leads the team with 7.4 rebounds per game and has a WAC-best 53 blocks this season. Junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is second on the team in rebounds with 7.3 per game and he has 24 blocks this year, after marking a career-best six blocks against Idaho (Jan. 11) and adding another three against Chicago State in Thursday’s loss.

Senior guard Kevin Aronis has the best 3-point shooting percentage at 43.5 percent (47-of-108) and has made the most 3-pointers with 47. Junior guard KC Ross-Miller is second on the team with a 42.6 3-point shooting percentage (20-of-47) and junior DK Eldridge is shooting 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc (26-of-65).

Senior forward/center Renaldo Dixon has made five consecutive starts heading into Saturday’s game against the UTPA and is averaging 23.8 minutes per game this season. He is posting 7.9 points per game and is averaging 5.3 rebounds per game.

Looking Back (Game Recap vs. Kansas City)
Senior forward Renaldo Dixon posted a career-high 34 points against Missouri-Kansas City, but that wasn’t enough as the New Mexico State men’s basketball team fell 68-66 in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Jan. 18. NM State drops to 14-7 on the year and 3-2 in Western Athletic Conference play, while UMKC moves to 6-11 overall and 3-2 in the league.

The Aggies outscored the Kangaroos 38-31 in the second half and were down 66-63 with :13 seconds remaining in the game before senior guard Kevin Aronis hit a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining to tie the game up at 66-all. The Aggies then committed a foul as UMKC’s Matez Harrison dribbled the ball up the sideline with four second left. Harrison made both free throws to give the ‘Roos a 68-66 lead and NM State committed a turnover taking away any chance for a last second shot.

Dixon scored his 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting, including one 3-pointer, while going 6-of-8 from the free throw line. The Aggies as a team, although, struggled once again from the charity stripe hitting 17-of-27 attempts. Dixon also added eight rebounds, an assists, three blocks and a steal.

NM State out-rebounded the Kangaroos 34-33 and scored 19 second chance points but UMKC was able to get in the paint and score posting 36 points in the paint, compared to NM State’s 34 points from inside the key. Junior forward Tshilidzi Nephawe was the only other Aggie in double-figures scoring as he posted 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting and 6-of-9 from the free throw line. Nephawe also had nine rebounds and a game-high four block.

Series history versus Texas-Pan American
The Aggies are 6-3 all-time against UTPA and are 4-1 when playing the Broncs at home. NM State is 1-2 against them on the road a 1-0 when playing at a neutral site. The first time the NM State Aggies and Texas-Pan American Broncs tipped-off was on Jan. 8, 1969, which resulted with the Aggies dominating UTPA winning by a score of 109-74.
The Aggies have won three straight games against UTPA defeating it 62-59, Nov. 22, 2002, 64-50 on Jan. 18, 2003 and again on March 1, 2003. The two teams play for the second time of the season on Feb. 20, 2014 in Edinburg, Texas.

Scouting the Broncs
The Texas-Pan American Broncs are led by first year Head Coach Dan Hipsher, who served as an Associate Head Coach at Alabama from 2009-13. The Broncs are currently in the midst of a two game winning streak with wins over Missouri Kansas City and Chicago State. They are currently sitting in sixth place in the league standings with 2-3 record and have a 6-14 overall record. The Broncs are currently 4-7 on the road this season.

Texas-Pan American ranks last in the conference in scoring with 66.8 points per game and fifth in the conference in rebounding with 34.3 rebounds per game. Javorn Farrell, a guard for the Broncs, leads the team in scoring, assist and blocks with 16.2 points per game, 3.2 assists per game and 0.7 blocks per game. Shaquille Hines, a forward for the Broncs, is the leading rebounder with 6.1 rebounds per game and third on the team in scoring with 12.1 points per game.

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