New Mexico State (3-3) at Texas-El Paso (1-4)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Don Haskins Center (12,000) -- El Paso, Texas.
Television: None. Home Record: NMSU 3-0, UTEP 1-0. Away Record: NMSU 0-2, UTEP
0-1. Neutral Record: NMSU 0-1, UTEP 0-2. Conference Record: NMSU 0-0, UTEP
0-0. Series Record: New Mexico State leads, 103-99.
GAME NOTES: In a relationship that has already surpassed 200 meetings on the
hardwood, the New Mexico State Aggies and the Miners of Texas-El Paso are set
to add another chapter to their lengthy history as they get together at the
Don Haskins Center in the Lone Star State on Wednesday night.
While this game is being played on the home floor of the Miners, the team
comes into the meeting saddled with a four-game losing streak. UTEP won the
season opener here against Oral Roberts (69-49), but after that came setbacks
to Arizona, Oklahoma, Clemson and, most recently, Vanderbilt on Sunday by a
score of 73-49 as part of the Old Spice Classic in Florida.
As for the Aggies, they've managed to even their record at 3-3 after beginning
the new season with just one win in four tries. However, this current two-game
win streak hasn't been all that impressive since the victories have come
against Northern New Mexico (67-37) and Louisiana (79-57) the day after
Thanksgiving as part of the 2K Sports Classic.
Last season, each team won on its own court as the Aggies posted a convincing
89-73 victory in Las Cruces on Nov. 19 and about a month later UTEP delivered
a 73-69 win in this same building. With the split, that means New Mexico State
still maintains a four-game lead in the all-time series, now at 103-99.
Against the Ragin' Cajuns, NMSU broke out to a quick lead and never looked
back, leading by as many as 37 points in the second half thanks to a defense
that held the visitors to only 29.7 percent shooting from the floor. Bandja Sy
led five players in double figures as he dropped 16 points, adding five
rebounds and four blocked shots, followed by Tyrone Watson and Kevin Aronis
with 12 points apiece, K.C. Ross-Miller 11 and Tshilidzi Nephawe with 10
points and a game-high 11 rebounds as the Aggies crushed Louisiana on the
glass, 52-30. After six games this group is still dominating opponents on the
boards, beating them by an average of 12.3 rpg and because of that the squad
has succeeded in earning itself plenty of second-chance opportunities.
Although he was not among the leading scorers the last time out, Daniel
Mullings does head the list overall with 14.0 ppg, his 19 assists tops on the
team as well, and his 6.0 rpg rank second.
The recent tournament for the Miners proved to be a disaster all-around,
particularly against Vanderbilt as they attempted just 15 field goals in the
first half and nailed only five, leaving them behind by 16 at the break and 24
once it was all said and done. John Bohannon was responsible for 11 points and
six rebounds, but also four turnovers, and Cedrick Lang chipped in 10 points
and seven boards for a team that was hit with 20 turnovers, against a mere 17
made baskets. Having used a total of just 10 players thus far, three of whom
have played just 82 combined minutes and scored a collective 23 points, the
Miners are trying to lean too heavily on a small group of players to get the
job done and it isn't working. Bohannon is first on the team with 10.2 ppg and
4.6 rpg, but the group is scoring a mere 55.6 ppg and has been losing the
battle of the boards by an average of seven per contest.
The disparity between these two teams on the glass will have a huge impact on
the outcome. As long as the Aggies remember to maintain possession of the ball
and not play too physical, a road win should be in order.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico State 74, Texas-El Paso 59
11/28 10:32:15 ET