New Mexico State (0-0) at Oregon State (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 11, 9:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gill Coliseum (10,400) -- Corvallis, Oregon. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: NMSU 0-0, OSU 1-0. Away Record: NMSU 0-0, OSU 0-0. Neutral Record: NMSU 0-0, OSU 0-0. Conference Record: NMSU 0-0, OSU 0-0. Series Record: Oregon State leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: Already with one win under their belt, the Oregon State Beavers try to make it two in a row to tip off the 2012-13 campaign as they entertain the New Mexico State Aggies in regional action of the 2K Sports Classic at Gill Coliseum tonight.
On Friday night, the high-powered offense for the Beavers went to work against visiting Niagara and had little trouble with the Purple Eagles as the hosts put up a 102-83 victory. Regardless of the outcome of this meeting, OSU is already headed to the championship round of the event in New York where it will clash with Alabama four days from now.
As for the Aggies, this game marks their season opener. A member of the Western Athletic Conference, New Mexico State is 3-2 in openers under the direction of head coach Marvin Menzies, winning three straight. The team is coming off a very successful 2011-12 campaign in which it finished with a record of 26-10, one win shy of tying the program's all-time single-season mark.
Oregon State owns a 2-0 edge in the all-time series, but this is the first meeting between the two since 1960 when the Beavers posted a 65-57 victory in Las Cruces.
Last year, for the first time ever, the Aggies had three 1,000-point scorers on the roster and unfortunately that productive trio is no longer around. What remains for coach Menzies is seven hold-overs but not one of them was able to score in double figures for the group. Now a sophomore, Daniel Mullings came closest with his 9.3 ppg and was also an effective rebounder with better than four boards per outing. Senior forward Bandja Sy, an import from France, is capable of handling himself in the paint after posting 8.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest and will now be handed even more responsibility. Tyrone Watson (7.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.1 apg) can wear many hats and will have to fulfill many expectations in order for this group to succeed.
Against Niagara, the Beavers scored the first points of the evening and never looked back, shooting not only 57.6 percent from the floor in the first half but also 8-of-13 beyond the arc. The squad finished the contest converting 56.7 percent from the field overall and 13-of-24 out on the perimeter, a level of accuracy that was quite helpful considering the squad turned the ball over 17 times and shot just 13-of-24 at the free-throw line. All five starters scored in double figures for OSU, a total of six hitting for double digits as Roberto Nelson tallied 22 points, Angus Brandt and Ahmad Starks 18 apiece, followed by Eric Moreland and Devon Collier with 14 each and Joe Burton 10 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Also filling out his stat line was Moreland who not only made good on all seven of his field goal chances, he cleared 13 rebounds and blocked five shots. The 102 points scored by the Beavers were the most since the squad tied a program record with 116 versus UC San Diego in 1997.
Considering how well-balanced the Beavers were in the opener, there's no reason to think the hosts can't turn the trick again tonight on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon State 89, New Mexico State 75
11/11 11:00:16 ET