NMSU set for road game at UTRGV


The New Mexico State men’s basketball team wraps up its three-game road swing this Saturday, Jan. 26, when it heads to UT Rio Grande Valley for a 6 p.m. (MT) battle on the WAC Digital Network.



Aggie fans can catch Saturday’s game on the WAC Digital Network as well as over-the-top apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV or Roku Devices.



Get up to the minute information and news about the NM State men’s basketball team all season long on Twitter and Instagram by following @NMStateMBB and on Facebook at FB.com/NMStateMBB.



Aggie fans that can’t make it to Saturday’s contest can catch the game by listening to NM State Athletics/US Bank Hall of Famer Jack Nixon on 99.5 Zia Country and affiliate stations on the Aggie Sports Network listed below or via TuneIn.



103.7 FM KNMZ


1150 AM KNMM


1240 AM KAMQ

El Paso

1380 AM KHEY


1230 AM, 94.9 FM KYVA

Las Vegas

107.1 FM KMDS



After a huge weekend on the hardwood floor for New Mexico State, Eli Chuha was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week. The redshirt senior averaged 16.5 points and 12.0 rebounds in the two games against Seattle U and Utah Valley on the road while knocking down 80-percent of his shots. This is the second weekly honor for NM State and the second weekly honor of Chuha’s career.


The 6-7 forward first recorded a team-high 13 points on 10 rebounds to go with two blocks against the Redhawks. He then poured in a season-high 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting while also tying his career-high in rebounds with 14 to go with three steals.



Heading into this weekend’s match-up, New Mexico State is 6-0 against UT Rio Grande Valley since the merger between UT Brownsville and Texas-Pan American and 16-3 overall if the records are combined. The last time NM State lost on the road to UTRGV was on Feb. 11, 2002, when it competed under the Texas-Pan America moniker, 100-86.


Terry Winn III paces UTRGV in the scoring column with 12.4 points per game to go with a 5.0 rebounding average and a .417 shooting clip. Lesley Varner II isn’t far off from Winn III, averaging 12.0 points with a team-high 5.5 rebounds on top of his .451 shooting average.


Javon Levi leads the team in the steals column with 54 swipes on the year in addition to his 103 assists. Tyson Smith has knocked down a team-high 36 shots from 3-point land and is third on the team in scoring with a 9.1 points average.


As a team, UTRGV is 10-11 overall and 2-3 in WAC play after splitting last weekend on the road. The two wins so far for the Vaqueros have come against California Bakersfield and Seattle U. UTRGV had near losses at home to CSUB (75-69) and GCU (69-65).



Through games on Jan. 23, NM State is ranked 13th in the country rebounding margin (7.4) and its offensive rebounds per game (13.21) checks in at No. 21 in the nation while its NET ranking of 77 is best amongst WAC teams.



Despite shooting 40-percent from the field in the first half, New Mexico State saw itself trailing Utah Valley last Saturday 39-33 heading into the break with the Wolverines shooting 63.2-percent from the floor.


However, Eli Chuha, AJ Harris, Terrell Brown and JoJo Zamora combined to score 46 of NM State’s 50 points in the second-half while also hitting 19-of-22 from the free-throw line to see the Aggies claw back for the 83-78 victory.


The second-half saw a lot of back-and-forth action between the teams before Harris drilled a straight-away 3-pointer to give the Aggies a 74-69 lead with 2:54 left to play. Up 74-70, Zamora came through for New Mexico State with what arguably could’ve been the dagger for UVU with a corner 3-ball by the Aggie bench and pushed it to 77-70.


The Wolverines did their best to claw back, but it was too little too late as NM State went 6-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final 26 seconds to ice the game.



New Mexico State returns home for a pair of home games next week as it entertains Kansas City on Thursday, Jan. 31, followed by Chicago State on Saturday, Feb. 2. Thursday’s game against the Roos will be the third hat giveaway game while Saturday’s contest will be the return of Reggie Theus.



After its weekend at home, NM State will hit the road once more. The Aggies will first travel to CSU Bakersfield for a Thursday night contest before battling Grand Canyon on Saturday, Feb. 9.

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