NMSU hosts Hawai'i as different team


POSTED: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 4:57pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 6:34pm

The New Mexico State men's basketball team hosts the final two WAC home games of the season. The Aggies meet Hawai'i, Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. and San Jose State, Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. inside the Pan American Center. Both games are AggieVision broadcasts and shown across New Mexico on Comcast. The Hawai'i game is also available on KVIA 24/7 (channel 7.3) and ESPN Full Court. The San Jose State game is available on CW (channel 7.2), ESPN Full Court and tape delayed on Fox Sports-Arizona at 8 p.m. It is also senior night, and the Aggies will honor the three seniors with a postgame ceremony. The games are available on KGRT 104 FM with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip. The contests are also available in Spanish on Vista 98 FM with Martin Cortez.

New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies are 20-8 this season and 7-3 in the WAC. In the Sears BracketBuster, the Aggies beat Drake, 71-55, Feb. 18. NM State has three players in double figures with redshirt senior Wendell McKines leading the way with 18.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Senior guard Hernst Laroche provides 12.1 points per game, and senior center Hamidu Rahman adds 10.5 points per game.

Scouting Hawai'i
The Rainbow Warriors are 15-11 overall and 6-4 in the WAC. Hawai'i fell at Montana, 94-79, in the Sears BracketBuster, Feb. 18. The Rainbow Warriors have three players in double digits with junior center Vander Joaquim supplying a team-high 14.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Senior guard Zane Johnson adds 14.4 points per game, while junior forward Joston Thomas contributes 14.0 points per contest.

Series Notes
The Aggies have a 12-4 advantage in the all-time series. Hawai'i won the first meeting of the year, 91-87, in Honolulu, Jan. 21. NM State is looking to extend its home winning streak over the Rainbow Warriors. The Aggies are 6-0 in games played in Las Cruces.

Previous Game
Despite a late second-half rally, NM State fell at Hawai'i, 91-87, Jan. 21, which snapped a six-game win streak. The Aggies suffered their first loss in WAC play with five players in double-figures. Junior forward Bandja Sy collected his first-career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, both career-high marks. Senior center Hamidu Rahman had 16 points, while redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines contributed 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Hernst Laroche supplied 13 points, and freshman guard Daniel Mullings added 12.

Scouting San Jose State
The Spartans are 9-17 and 1-9 in the WAC following a 79-67 BracketBuster win at Sacramento State, Feb. 18. San Jose State travels to Louisiana Tech, Thursday, Feb. 23, before the meeting with the Aggies. Junior guard James Kinney has a team-high 16.4 points per game. Sophomore guard Keith Shamburger adds 13.8 points per game, while senior forward Wil Carter contributes 12.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

Series Notes
The Aggies have a 31-12 lead in the all-time series after winning the first meeting of the season, 79-63, in San Jose, Calif., Jan. 19. NM State is 17-3 all-time against the Spartans in home games.

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