FACTS & STATS: Site: Pan American Center (12,482) -- Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Television: AggieVision, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Seattle 5-9. NMSU 11-1. Away
Record: Seattle 2-6, NMSU 5-6. Neutral Record: Seattle 0-0, NMSU 0-1.
Conference Record: Seattle 2-10, NMSU 10-2. Series Record: NMSU leads, 2-1.
GAMES NOTES: Currently in a tie for second place in the Western Athletic
Conference the New Mexico State Aggies play host to the Seattle Redhawks in a
league tussle at the Pan American Center on Saturday night.
The season has not been so kind to Seattle, which finds itself just 7-15
overall and 2-10 in league play. In its most recent decision, the Redhawks,
who are second to last in the WAC standings, were handed a 72-55 beating by
Denver. Seattle is 2-6 in away contests this season but will host conference
leading Louisiana Tech next.
The Aggies have been blazing hot recently with wins in 10 straight games. All
10 victories have come in league play for the Aggies who have bounced back
from an 0-2 start to pull to a tie with Denver in the conference standings.
Overall New Mexico State is 16-8 on the campaign, including an impressive 11-1
ledger on its home floor after a 76-74 win over Idaho on Thursday. New Mexico
State plays a two-game road trip next beginning against San Jose State.
Earlier this season these teams met for just the third time and the first as
league foes. New Mexico State earned the 83-82 double-overtime victory in that
matchup and now leads the all-time series 2-1.
Despite shooting 55.6 percent from the floor against Denver, Seattle still
lost by 17 points because of the 26 turnovers. By turning the ball over so
many times the Redhawks were outscored 31-12 on points off turnovers and had
nearly 20 fewer field goal attempts than the Pioneers.
Seattle fits right in the middle of the WAC in terms of offensive production
as the Redhawks are scoring 66.7 points per game and shooting 41.7 percent
from the floor. Seattle has managed to clean the glass better than any other
team in the WAC (40.5 pg), while ranking 12th nationally in the category.
Clarence Trent (11.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is the only double-figure scorer on the
roster for the Redhawks, who prefer a more balanced approach with seven
different players scoring at least 5.8 points per game.
A pair of free throws with 14 seconds remaining from Daniel Mullings lifted
New Mexico State to its victory over Idaho on Thursday. The Aggies led by as
many as 11 points in the second half but found themselves tied 74-74 with a
minute remaining after the Vandals went on an 18-7 run down the stretch. The
Aggies did shoot 53.6 percent in the contest and knocked down 8-of-18 shots
from beyond the arc.
New Mexico State is just marginally better than Seattle on the offensive end
of the floor, ranking a spot ahead of the Redhawks in scoring (68.8 pg) and
field-goal percentage (.464). However the Aggies have managed to play much
better on the defensive end as they limit foes to just 63 points per game on
less than 40 percent shooting. Four different players are scoring in double
figures led by Mullings (14.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.1 spg), who also leads the team
in steals. Bandja Sy (11.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg) is the next best option as well as
the top player on the glass. Sim Bhullar (10.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg) has been a solid
Momentum is not something that can be ignored and New Mexico State is carrying
a ton into this contest. With the balance they have on offense and the ability
to stop opposing squads on defense, the Aggies should stay hot.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico State 71, Seattle 64