The second half of conference play begins tonight for both the Aggie men's and women's basketball teams. The men's team is on the road this week for the Texas swing facing Texas State and UTSA. The women are home to host those two same teams.
This Texas State game is a bit of a landmine game for the Aggies. Texas State is in the bottom third of the league standings, the Aggies defeated them earlier this season in Las Cruces albeit by a smaller margin than anticipated and Texas State is on a bit of an upswing having won three games in a row, their longest win streak of the year. At the midway point of conference play the Bobcats are allowing an average of 78.2 points per game while scoring 68.7. Joel Wright is averaging 17.5 points per game and he scored 17 points against the Aggies in the first meeting (which the Aggies won 78-67 and if you notice that is nearly identical to the point per game averages in conference play for Texas State).
This is a game the Aggies should win and although there are question marks regarding the statuses of Tyrone Watson (UPDATE: Tyrone Watson has been suspended indefinitely) and K.C. Ross-Miller the Aggies are still the better team and have plenty of other pieces that can fill in. If Watson does not play, we'd expect a little more playing time for Renaldo Dixon in Watson's spot which could in turn greenlight Chili Nephawe's return from his hand injury to help spell Sim Bhullar.
One interesting thing to look for tonight will be the Aggies' opponent's game plan for Sim Bhullar's presence in the paint. The Aggies held the advantage the first go around given that none of the teams had ever played against a 7'5" player but now that they've experienced the mammoth that is Sim Bhullar, how will their game plans from the first game change to account for his shot-blocking and shot-changing in the painted area.
If the Aggies win tonight, which we believe they will, we think they'll run their winning streak to 12 games heading into Logan Utah in three weeks.
Tonight's game is scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be heard on the Aggie Sports Network with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required). Live Stats will also be available via the Texas State athletic website.
The Aggie women are looking to end their five-game skid against Texas State who is 1-8 in WAC play at the midway point. Texas State is another fast paced team but in the first meeting between these two teams the Aggies held Texas State to just 58 points and only 68 possessions which is nine possessions under their average pace.
That game the Aggies also did a number Texas State's Diamond Ford who averages 21 points per game. The Aggie defense held her to just six points on 3-of-16 shooting and the Aggies will need another effort like that to win tonight (Ford has not been held under 17 points since that six point effort). Ashley Ezeh averages 15 points per game and hit that average against the Aggies. You're not likely going to be able to completely contain both Ezeh and Ford but if you can hold one of the two well under their scoring average then your chances of winning increase significantly.
As for the Aggies, scoring continues to be an issue for the team. After breaking the 60-point barrier in three of their first four conference games (all wins), the Aggies have been held under 60 points in four of their last five games. The lone game above the 60-point mark was a heartbreaking 65-63 loss at Utah State in which the Aggies lost on a buzzer-beating three pointer.
Tonight's game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN3.com. Continue Reading This Post >>