The New Mexico State men's basketball team returns home for a pair of games inside the Pan American Center during Thanksgiving week. NM State hosts Northern New Mexico, Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. in the final game of the 2K Sports Classic. The Aggies host Louisiana, Friday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in a game in memory of former Aggie Kelsey Crooks. The games are available on the Aggie Sports Network and KGRT 104 FM in Las Cruces with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon, and the pregame show starts 30 minutes prior to tip.
New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies are 1-3 this season after a rough road trip to Niagara Falls, N.Y. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings is leading the team in both scoring and rebounding with 17.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Senior forward Tyrone Watson supplies 14.8 points per game. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe and senior forward Bandja Sy are contributing 7.8 and 7.5 points per game, respectively.
Scouting Northern New Mexico
The Eagles are 3-7 overall this season. Northern New Mexico lost to Fort Lewis, 83-52, Nov. 15, Adams State College, 75-55, Nov. 17 and New Mexico Highlands, 103-59, Nov. 18. The Eagles host Western State College, Nov. 20, before meeting the Aggies. The Eagles have three players in double figures with sophomore forward/center Orlando Echave supplying 11.0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Junior guards Matthew Brito and Gabriel Martinez are averaging 10.6 and 10.5 points per game, respectively.
The Aggies have a 1-0 all-time lead in the series with Northern New Mexico. NM State won the first-ever meeting, 100-68, Feb. 14, 2012 in Las Cruces.
The Aggies started their final four-game home stand with a 100-68 win over Northern New Mexico, Feb. 14, 2012 in Las Cruces. All five Aggie starters were in double-figures with forward Bandja Sy leading the way with 19 points. Center Hamidu Rahman added 18 points and eight rebounds. Guard Daniel Mullings scored 14 points, and forward Tyrone Watson supplied 13 in the Aggies' first 100-point game since the 2008-09 season. Guard Hernst Laroche was also in double-digits with 12 points.
The Ragin' Cajuns are 1-2 overall following losses at Texas Southern, 74-71, Nov. 16 and Boise State, 63-57, Nov. 18. ULL hosts Southern (New Orleans), Nov. 21, prior to the matchup with the Aggies. Junior forward Bryant Mbamalu has a team-high 14.0 points per game, and sophomore guard Elfrid Payton adds 13.7 points per game. Junior forward Elridge Moore is providing 12.7 points per game.
The Ragin' Cajuns have a 10-4 advantage in the all-time series, but the Aggies have won the last two meetings in the series. NM State and Louisiana met twice during the 2010-11 season with the Aggies taking both contests, 92-76, Nov. 12, 2010 in Lafayette, La., and 82-76, Dec. 21, 2010 in Las Cruces.
Guard Gordo Castillo scored 20 points to lead NM State past Louisiana, 82-76, Dec. 21, 2010 at the Pan American Center. Christian Kabongo added 17 points and Hernst Laroche scored 19 for the Aggies, who won their fourth straight game.
Mullings Earns 2K Sports Classic All-Tournament Team Honors
Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings was named to the Niagara subregional 2K Sports Classic All-Tournament Team. He averaged 24 points and 6.5 rebounds in two games in Niagara Falls, N.Y. He joined Bryson Johnson and Mike Muscala of Bucknell (MVP) and Juan'ya Green and Antoine Mason of Niagara.
Aggies Falter at Niagara 86-83
NM State let a second-half lead slip away and fell to Niagara, 86-83, in the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Wounded Warrior Project, Nov. 18. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scored a season-high 26 points, just two shy of his career high, for the Aggies and was named to the all-tournament team. Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe contributed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, which ties a career-high mark. This was his first double-double since March 2, 2011. Senior forward Bandja Sy was also in double-digits with 10 points. Off the bench, sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen had a career-high nine points, while senior forward Tyrone Watson supplied eight points, six rebounds and five assists.