Aggies set to host Bakersfield

New Mexico State

POSTED: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 9:28pm

UPDATED: Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 2:22pm

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team (15-7, 4-2 WAC) takes on Bakersfield, Thursday, Jan. 30 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 takes on Utah Valley, who is currently sitting atop the WAC Standings, Saturday, Feb. 1 in the Pan American Center. That night is Hall of Fame night with ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon being inducted along with former Aggie men’s golf coach Scott Lieberwirth, and former NM State women’s basketball player Melanie Maynes. That night is also a ‘White Out’ with the Aggie Athletics Department asking all Aggie fans to wear white. The game will air 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. However, NM State bounced back with a 90-78 win over Texas-Pan American, Jan. 25 in the Pan American Center.

The Aggies are now sitting at 4-2 in league play and play two games in the Pan American Center this week, where they are 9-1 on the year.

The Aggies are averaging 78.2 points per game this season and are shooting 48.0 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 41.3 percent shooting percentage on the year and is out-rebounding the opposing teams by an average of 37.0 per game to 32.9 per game (+4.1 rebounding margin).

Junior guard Daniel Mullings leads all scorers on the squad with 17.0 points per game and is also the defensive leader of the team with a league-high 46 steals this season. He also has 69 assists on the offensive end of the court and nine blocks on the defensive side.

Sophomore Sim Bhullar, who has sat out the last six games due to a foot injury, leads the team with a WAC-best 53 blocks this season, while junior Tshilidzi Nephawe is now the team-leader in rebounds with 7.7 per game and he has 30 blocks this year, after marking a career-best six blocks against Idaho (Jan. 11) and adding another three against Chicago State.

Senior guard Kevin Aronis has the best 3-point shooting percentage at 43.8 percent (49-of-112) and has made the most 3-pointers with 49. Junior guard KC Ross-Miller is second on the team with a 41.7 3-point shooting percentage (20-of-48) and junior DK Eldridge is shooting 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc (28-of-70).

Senior forward/center Renaldo Dixon has made six consecutive starts heading into Thursday’s game against Bakersfield and is averaging 24.5 minutes per game this season. He is posting 8.2 points per game and is grabbing 5.4 rebounds per game.

Looking Back
The Aggies continued to dominate at home in Western Athletic Conference play after defeating the Texas-Pan American Broncs, 90-78, Saturday night, Jan. 25, inside the Pan American Center. The win was the Aggies' 17th-straight home win against conference opponents.

The Aggies overcame a slow start to improve to 15-7 overall and 4-2 in WAC play. UTPA falls to 6-15 and 2-4 in the WAC.

NM State junior guard Daniel Mullings had a career-night as he went over the 30-point mark for the first time in his Aggie career. NM State’s leading scorer finished with 32 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and 13-of-15 from the free-throw line.

Not to be outdone, center Tshilidzi Nephawe also marked a career-high. The Aggie big man finished with a game-high 15 rebounds, the most he’s had in a game while at NM State. Nephawe also scored 14 points for a team-leading sixth double-double.

A couple of other Aggies also contributed with double-figure points. Senior forward Renaldo Dixon put in 15 points while junior guard DK Eldridge added another 14.

NM State shot 56.9 percent from the field (29-of-51) while holding the Broncs to 45.8 percent (27-of-59). The Aggies made 3-of-8 from beyond the arc during both halves to finish 6-of-16 for the game, a 37.5 shooting percentage from 3-point range. NM State also shot 14 more free throws than the Broncs, finishing at 76.5 percent from the charity stripe (26-of-34).

Series History versus Bakersfield
The NM State Aggies have proved themselves against the Bakersfield Roadrunner with a 3-0 all-time record, which began on Dec. 29, 1961. All games played have been at the Aggies home court, the Pan American Center. The Aggies won the first game 88-64, the second game 73-72 and the third game 78-57.

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