NMSU Men's Basketball to Face Ranked Rival Saturday


POSTED: Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 2:11pm

UPDATED: Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 7:32pm

The New Mexico State men's basketball team takes on in-state rival No. 17/20 New Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. in Albuquerque. The game is available on CBSSN. 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. The game is also available in Spanish with Edgar Gardell on Vista 98.7 FM.

New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies are 5-4 this season after their first road win of the year, a 58-52 decision at South Alabama, Dec. 4 in Mobile, Ala. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team with 13.9 points per game. Senior forward Tyrone Watson adds 11.4 points per game, and senior forward Bandja Sy is contributing 8.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Scouting New Mexico
The Lobos are 10-0 currently following a 65-52 win over Valparaiso, Dec. 8, in Albuquerque. UNM has three players in double figures with junior guard Kendall Williams posting a team-high 13.2 points per game. Junior guard Tony Snell and redshirt sophomore center Alex Kirk are adding 11.7 points per game each.

Series Notes
UNM leads the all-time series 113-95 but the teams split the series during the 2011-12 season. Last year, each team won on the road. NM State won the first meeting of the year, 62-53, Nov. 16, 2011 in Albuquerque, and UNM won the second game, 89-69, Dec. 28, 2011 in Las Cruces.

Previous Game
The Aggies stumbled against New Mexico in the rematch and fell, 89-69, Dec. 28 in Las Cruces. The in-state rivals split the season series. Forward Wendell McKines recorded a game-high 25 points and 15 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the year. Center Hamidu Rahman added a season-high 19 points.

Last Game in Albuquerque
NM State utilized a strong defensive effort to defeat in-state rival New Mexico, 62-53, Nov. 16. This was the first win for the Aggies in The Pit since Dec. 15, 2002. Forward Wendell McKines led the way with 14 second-half points and a game-high nine rebounds. Forward Bandja Sy added 12 points including a late three-point play and critical blocked shot in the final 30 seconds of the game. Center Hamidu Rahman provided 10 points and five rebounds. In the second half, NM State held the Lobos to 19 percent shooting (4-of-21), while the Aggies shot 60 percent (12-of-20).

Aggies Earn First Road Win
NM State collected its first road of the season with a 58-52 victory at South Alabama, Dec. 4. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings led the Aggies in scoring with 13 points. Freshman center Sim Bhullar contributed 12 points off the bench for his third double-digit game of the year. Senior forward Bandja Sy recorded his second career double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, a career-high mark, along with a vital steal in the last 20 seconds of the game. Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had nine points including two free throws to seal the game.

National Rankings for the Aggies
The Aggies are currently 19th in the NCAA in rebounding margin (+9.6). NM State has out-rebounded opponents in seven of its nine games. The Aggies are 34th in 3-point field goal defense (27.5 percent) and 44th in field goal percent defense (37.9) as of Dec. 9.

Against the WAC Competition
Currently, the Aggies lead the conference in scoring defense and are only allowing 59.6 points per game and 3-point field goal percent defense (27.5). NM State ranks second in rebounding margin (+9.6) and field goal percent defense (37.9). The Aggies are third in scoring margin (+7.2), field goal percentage (45.5) and rebounding defense (29.7).

Individually, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings ranks sixth in steals (2.00 per game) and eighth in field goal percentage (53.7). Senior forward Tyrone Watson is ninth in field goal percentage (50.8). Sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller is fifth in free-throw percentage (84.6), and freshman center Sim Bhullar is eighth in blocked shots (1.33 per game) as of Dec. 9.

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