New Mexico State (0-1) vs. Tennessee State (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 9, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: None. Home Record: NMSU 0-0, TSU 0-0. Away Record: NMSU 0-0, TSU 0-1. Neutral Record: NMSU 0-1, TSU 0-0. Conference Record: NMSU 0-0, TSU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The 49th annual Rainbow Classic in Hawaii serves as the backdrop for the first-ever meeting between the New Mexico State Aggies and the Tennessee State Tigers on Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
Both teams are coming off defeats on Friday in their respective 2013-14 season openers, as the Aggies tumbled against Western Michigan, 70-64, and Tennessee State proceeded to be blown out by host Hawaii, 85-55.
Tennessee State had gone into Friday's clash with a 6-1 advantage in the all- time series versus the Rainbow Warriors, but was unable to keep up with the host squad.
Both of these teams will be back in action in this tournament on Monday, with the Tigers challenging Western Michigan and the Aggies clashing with Hawaii, a former member of the Western Athletic Conference where NMSU is expected to be a leading player this season.
New Mexico State's three-point lead late in the first half did little to scare off the Broncos in the opener, especially since the Aggies were destined to shoot only 8-of-25 from the floor and miss all five chances behind the 3-point line after intermission. Tshilidzi Nephawe had a strong outing for NMSU as he registered 18 points and eight rebounds, shooting 8-of-11 from the floor in only 24 minutes of action. The only other double-digit scorer for the Aggies was Remi Barry who dropped in 10 points as the team shot a mere 1-of-11 on the outside and 34.5 percent from the field for the entire game.
New Mexico State did outscore the Broncos at the free-throw line, 25-16, but NMSU still missed 15 opportunities at the stripe. The Aggies maintained a strong 47-30 edge on the glass as well, but that proved to be a non-factor once the final buzzer sounded.
Only two Tennessee State players scored in double figures on Friday as Patrick Miller dropped in a team-best 15 points and M.J. Rhett delivered 11 points, to go along with 12 rebounds. Other than those two players, the only other TSU member to finish with more than six points was Gerald Williams who posted nine points in 16 minutes off the bench.
The team as a whole shot just 36.8 percent from the floor and knocked down only one of their 15 attempts beyond the arc, that one conversion coming from Michael Green who finished with three points on 1-of-6 from the field.
TSU was outscored at the free-throw line, 28-12, and lost the battle of the boards rather soundly, 47-28.
Expect to see a New Mexico State program that has something to prove on Saturday, taking advantage of an overmatched Tigers group that was embarrassed by Hawaii in the opener.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico State 73, Tennessee State 57
11/09 10:44:18 ET