Sam Wasson's blog

The Daily Aggie :: 02/18/13

The spring season is in full swing as Aggie baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball were all in action over the weekend. It was a mixed bag for Aggie baseball as they split their opening weekend series with UW-Milwaukee winning games one and four. Aggie softball split six games in the Troy Cox Classic picking a win over Missouri-Kansas City, splitting with Penn State and Colorado State and losing in extra innings to Texas Tech. The Aggie softball team is back in action tomorrow night when they host Rio Grande Rival UNM for the second time in eight days.

The Aggie women's basketball team snapped their nine-game losing streak in style over the weekend defeating San Jose State and Utah State while scoring a combined 196 points on the weekend. The Aggies' turnaround may have actually started back in Seattle. We noted after the game that even though the Aggies lost by 16 points, it was a much more competitive game than the final score revealed. The Aggies trailed 38-15 at halftime but caught fire and scored 47 second-half points which led us to tweet the following: Aggies scored 47 points in the 2nd half. Impressive when you consider theirlast 3 gms their 40 min pt totals-49, 53, 53. The improved offensive output culminated in the Aggies' 106 point outbreak on Saturday night. The Aggies scored a mind-boggling 67 points in the second half which is impressive by itself but consider this... that second half total is more than the Aggies have scored in SEVENTEEN different games this season!. Think about that for a minute.

Over the weekend the Aggies looked a lot more like the team we thought might compete for a WAC title during the regular season. Unfortunately it hasn't quite worked out that way but the Aggies may be peaking at the right time -- late February and early March. While the two wins didn't move the Aggies up the standings any, it did help keep them out of last place which they would have fallen to had they lost both games. With three games left it's still likely that the Aggies will have to play in Tuesday's first round action (which pits the 7-seed vs. the 10-seed and 8-seed vs. the 9-seed) but a streaking Aggie team would definitely be a team that none of the top teams would want to face.

On a side note, Danesia Williamson was named WAC Player of the Week for her efforts in the weekend sweep as she averaged 21 points and 10 assists in the two games.

The Aggie men's basketball team dropped their first game of 2013 losing at Utah State on Saturday night. The Aggie men fall to 12-3 in conference play and now need a lot of things to go their way if they're going to win the regular season title. The Aggies would need Louisiana Tech to lose three of their final four games which is entirely possible given that LA Tech hosts Utah State and then travels to New Mexico State and Denver to end the season. The Aggies would also need to win out which means beating Denver on the road and avenging the opening weekend losses against Louisiana Tech and UT-Arlington. If those scenarios play out the Aggies would at least share the regular season title with LA Tech and Denver and could win outright if Denver loses more than once and LA Tech has an epic collapse and loses all four of their remaining conference games which seems unlikely.

Saturday's loss at Utah State was certainly an opportunity lost because while it doesn't mathematically eliminate the Aggies from regular season title contention and the top seed, it does make it quite a bit more difficult as we noted in the scenarios above. You're probably thinking, why all the talk about the regular season title and the top seed? Don't the Aggies need to win the WAC tournament to make the NCAA tournament? Yes. That is the case, the Aggies are not an at-large team, however, many people forget that the winner of the regular season title (and top seed after tiebreakers) earn an automatic bid into the NIT should they fail to win the conference tournament. The Aggies would guarantee themselves some sort of postseason bid should they win the regular season title and the top seed.

As it would appear now (barring a minor miracle) it's NCAA tourney or bust given the Aggies' reluctance to play in one of the "pay for play" postseason tournaments (CBI, CIT, etc.) and it appears unlikely that the Aggies would reverse their stance on playing in one of those tournaments.

The Daily Aggie :: 02/16/13

The Aggie men's basketball team is back in action tonight as they go for their 13th consecutive victory when they face Utah State. The Aggies have won three straight in the series and are looking for their second consecutive regular season sweep of Utah State. The Aggies are looking to keep pace with Denver who went into Logan and pulled out a 63-60 overtime victory over the UtAgs which coincidentally gave Denver their second consecutive victory at The Spectrum.

For all of the talk about Utah State's hundreds of sets that they run and the precision with which they run them, Marvin Menzies and crew seem to have figured out how to defend Utah State. In the last six meetings between the two teams New Mexico State has held USU to 63 (W), 59 (L), 58 (L), 60 (W), 69 (W) and 51 (W) points and as you can see they're 4-2 in those games (which includes a WAC tourney title game win).

USU is still playing without two of their best players in Preston Medlin and Kyisean Reed but it has been Spencer Butterfield who has stepped up for USU. He's averaging 16.8 points per game in the past six games for them and is one player the Aggies do need to key on. Interestingly enough the UtAgs have gone 3-3 in those past six games and all three of those losses are at home.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be seen on ESPNU and while the stakes won't be as high for Utah State as they have been in the past it's still a conference rivalry game and it's still a vitally important game for New Mexico State as they try to keep pace with Louisiana Tech and Denver heading into the homestretch.

The Aggie women's basketball team is also back in action tonight as they face league-leader Utah State. It's payback time for the Aggies as they hope to avenge a stunning last-second loss suffered earlier this season in Logan when Utah State buried a three as time expired to stun New Mexico State.

Utah State is on an eight game winning streak and that win streak started with that win over New Mexico State.

Devyn Christensen continues to play like a Player of the Year candidate and is averaging 19.8 points per game, second in the conference and she hit the game-winner in overtime against Denver on Thursday night.

New Mexico State looks to continue the hot shooting they had against SJSU where they scored 90 points and shot 44 percent from three point distance, a key stat for the Aggies as we've mentioned numerous times here.

Can the Aggies pull off the shocker tonight? If they shoot the three ball as well as they did against SJSU they certainly are capable.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN3.com.

The Aggie baseball and softball teams are both back in action today. The baseball team is looking to bounce back from an 11-0 loss to UW-Milwaukee in game two of yesterday's doubleheader, one of the few times they've ever been shut out at home. The Aggies and UW-Milwaukee play another doubleheader today beginning at 2:00 p.m. (MT).

Aggie softball looks to continue their win streak after a pair of run-rule victories yesterday (10-1 over UMKC and 10-2 over Penn State). The Aggies take on Penn State at 2:00 p.m. (MT) and Colorado State following the conclusion of the first game.

The Daily Aggie :: 02/14/13

The Aggie men's and women's basketball teams are back in action tonight. The men are on the road to take on San Jose State while the women also take on San Jose State. The men are looking for their 12th consecutive victory while the women are looking to break their nine game losing streak.

For the Aggie men it's a chance to match their longest winning streak since the 2006-07 season. Tonight they may have to do it without Bandja Sy who suffered an injury during the Aggies' game against Seattle. Bandja is the latest in a long list of Aggie players shuffled in and out of the starting lineup this season. The Aggies have done a great job of adjusting to the shuffling lineup during their win streak but the loss of Sy could hit the team the hardest. As we pointed out last week when Bandja Sy scores in double-figures this season the Aggies are 12-2, though they have won the past two with Sy scoring just nine points.

The Aggies had little trouble with San Jose State in the first meeting between these two teams and they shouldn't have much more trouble with the Spartans this time around even without Sy, Watson or Ross-Miller.

The Spartans are a very offensively challenged basketball team and rank last or near the bottom in most offensive categories. This is a game that the Aggie defense should hold SJSU into the low 50s.

Tonight's game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be heard on the Aggie Sports Network and streaming online via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie women's nine-game losing streak has a chance to come to an end tonight as they host San Jose State. The Aggies lost by just one to SJSU on the road earlier this season. The Aggies return to the friendly confines of the Pan Am after a tough that saw them lose by 19 to Idaho and 16 to Seattle (though the Aggies did trim the lead down to eight in the second half).

The Spartans play the fastest pace in the country averaging a whopping 86 possessions per 40 minutes which is the most in the country. The Aggies come in at just under 70 possessions per game which is dead last in the league. The Aggies can't get into a scoring contest with the Spartans. New Mexico State has made a living this season on clamping down on opposing teams' offense and that got away from them a little last week on the road.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. (MT) tip-off and is the Aggies' Pink Out, Play for Kay game. Radio coverage is available on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces and streaming online via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Daily Aggie :: 02/09/13

The Aggie men's basketball team faces Seattle tonight as they go for their 11th consecutive victory. The Aggies defeated the Redhawks in an 83-82 double-overtime thriller in Seattle. Up until the past two games, Seattle had been playing every WAC opponent close, losing by fewer than 10 points in all their losses while winning twice. However, things have not gone well for SU in the past two games as they've been blasted by short-handed USU (by 22) and Denver (by 17). Once again this is a game that if New Mexico State has designs on a regular season title, they must win.

Seattle is a middle of the pack team both offensively and defensively but they're one of the better rebounding teams in the league so the Aggies will need to be extra vigilant on the glass tonight. Turnovers kept Seattle in the first game and New Mexico State will need to do a better job against the press tonight. The Aggies nearly cost themselves the first game with a couple of really careless turnovers late in the game in the first meeting after it looked like they had the game wrapped up. The Aggies finished that game with 18 turnovers and to their credit they did force Seattle into 25, however, they must do a better job of taking care of the ball which they have as of late.

As we've noted a few times over the course of this win streak one of the biggest keys to the win streak is the improved offensive play of Bandja Sy. The senior failed to reach double-digits on Thursday against Idaho, the first time that's happened since the losses to UT-Arlington and Louisiana Tech. That can't happen too many more times for New Mexico State. The Aggies are 12-2 when Bandja reaches double digits in scoring but just 4-6 when he doesn't.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (MT) tip and can be seen on AggieVision and streaming online via ESPN3.com

The Aggie women's basketball team is back in action tonight as they face Seattle. The Aggies are mired in an eight-game losing streak after losing to Idaho on Thursday night. We've noted ad-nauseum that the Aggies' struggles can be tied directly to the three point arc and Thursday night's loss was no different. The Aggies were a paltry 4-for-27 from deep against Idaho and lost big, 72-53.

Seattle is 9-3 in league play and is chasing Utah State right now. The Aggies struggled to defend the interior presence of Kacie Sowell in the first meeting. Sowell finished with 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting and the Aggies simply don't have anyone who can match up with her.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be heard on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces and streaming online via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie softball team opened up the 2013 season with a split yesterday as they lost to Nebraska 5-1 but bounced back to defeat Illinois-Chicago 8-1. Staci Rodriguez got her season off to a bang offensively as she belted a pair of home runs in the 8-1 victory including a first-inning grand slam.

The Aggies continue play in the Hotel Encanto tournament today as they'll face UIC once again at approximately 3:00 p.m. (MT).

The Daily Aggie :: 02/07/13

The New Mexico State men's basketball team hosts Idaho tonight as the Aggies try for their tenth consecutive victory. In the first meeting between these two the Aggies raced out to a big lead leading 23-9 early and 42-27 at halftime. The lead was still a comfortable 11 points with twelve minutes and change left but Idaho slowly started chipping away and with 43 seconds left the Aggies and Vandals were tied at 68. The game remained tied at 70 with four seconds left when Daniel Mullings was fouled on an inbounds play. He hit one of two and the Aggies held on for a 71-70 victory.

Tonight's game may very well be as competitive, however, some of the key principals in that game for the Aggies will not see action. Tyrone Watson's suspension from basketball activities along with K.C. Ross-Miller's ailing hamstring mean the Aggies will be without their combined 25 points and 37 and 31 minutes respectively that the two played in the first game.

Idaho is the only team to have shot better than 50 percent against the Aggies during the current nine-game win streak but if the Aggies are to win again tonight they'll need to keep Idaho under than percentage. It will be a challenge for this renewed Aggie defense as Idaho leads the league in field goal percentage overall and is second during conference play but is the best three point shooting team in the league percentage-wise during conference play.

Once again it will be interesting to see the adjustments made by the opposition the second time face Sim Bhullar. In the first game Sim finished with 16 points and six rebounds.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off and can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN3.com

The Aggie women are also back in action tonight as they take on Idaho in Moscow. The Aggies are losers of seven straight and battling UT-Arlington and Texas State to stay out of the basement. Those three teams are firmly entrenched at the bottom of the standings, three (and four) games clear in the loss column from the next closest team ahead of them.

The task is not going to get any easier for the Aggies as they face the third place team tonight in Idaho and then the second place team on Saturday night in Seattle. In fact, before facing fellow basement-dweller UT-Arlington (1-9) in the regular season finale the Aggies' final stretch of conference games comes against teams with a combined 42-23 conference record. The Aggies don't face a team with a losing conference record until that final game against UTA. Obviously the W/L records will change as the season progresses but as it stands now the Aggies have perhaps the toughest finishing stretch of any conference team.

Back to tonight's game. The Aggies lost the first meeting between the two teams. The Aggies lead by seven early, fell behind by as many as 15 in the second half, cut the lead all the way down to two points before losing by six.

It's really a simple formula for the Aggies. Their issues are scoring the basketball. This team struggles to put the ball in the basket and if they're not hitting three pointers, they don't win. As we noted prior to the UTSA loss, when the Aggies lose they shoot horrendously from three point distance, just 19 percent (45-of-228). When they win, they're one of the best three point shooting teams at just over 38 percent (74-of-193).

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be heard on KSNM AM 570 and streaming online via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie football team announced its 2013 recruiting class along with the 2013 schedule yesterday. You can check out the class here and the schedule here.

Aggie soccer also announced their 2013 recruiting class yesterday with seven newcomers joining the squad.

The Daily Aggie :: 02/02/13

The Aggie men's basketball team is looking for their ninth straight win as they take on UTSA tonight in San Antonio. The Aggies are coming off an 86-72 victory over Texas State on Thursday night, a game in which the Aggies were in control throughout and a game which also produced this highlight breakaway dunk from Daniel Mullings:

Mullings and the short-handed Aggies will take on a Roadrunner squad that they beat handily in Las Cruces, 82-62 in which the game wasn't even as close as that final score (the Aggies led by as many as 32 in the second half). The Aggies held a substantial advantage in the paint outscoring UTSA 48-18 inside.

UTSA continues to be one of the worst teams in the country defensively allowing teams to shoot 53.3 percent from the field, 61.2 percent from inside the arc and 41.2 percent from outside the arc in conference play, all three are 10th out of 10 teams in the league. The Aggies should be able to take advantage of the porous defense. Winning on the road is always a bit of a challenge but even if this game is close at halftime as it was in Las Cruces, we fully expect the Aggies to pull away in the second half.

The game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. (MT) start and can be heard on the Aggie Sports Network.

The Aggie women's basketball team returns to action after a disappointing loss to Texas State on Thursday night. The Aggie women continue to struggle offensively posting just 49 points on Thursday night. It was the fifth time this season the Aggie women have failed to break 50 points and they are 0-5 in such games.

UTSA comes into the game at 5-5 in league play and are losers of two straight and in both of those they have failed to score 50 points. The Aggies routed UTSA 69-52 in San Antonio earlier in conference play and it was arguably Aggies' best offensive performance of the season.

UTSA overall boast the best field goal percentage defense in the league, however, in conference play they've dropped to 10th in field goal percentage defense thanks in large part to their poor three point field goal defense. Teams are shooting 36 percent from behind the arc against the Roadrunners and that is something that could favor the Aggies tonight if they're able to get hot from deep. Poor three point shooting has been the issue for New Mexico State this season in their losses. In their losses this season the Aggies are shooting a paltry 41-of-216 from behind the arc which translates to 18.9 percent. In their victories they've shot 74-of-193 which is 38.3 percent. The Aggies truly are a classic "live by the three die by the three" team.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off and can be seen on Aggie Access and ESPN3.com

The Daily Aggie :: 01/31/13

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 >>

The Daily Aggie :: 01/26/13

The Aggie women's basketball team is back in action this afternoon as they take on the Denver Pioneers at Magness Arena in Denver. This is the first game in a week for the Aggie women and they're looking to break a four-game losing streak (Seattle, Idaho, Utah State and San Jose State). As has been the case the entire season the losing streak hasn't been because of their defensive effort. The Aggies are allowing just 59.0 points per game in conference play and they have the best overall field goal percentage defense as well as the best three point field goal percentage defense in conference play.

Denver is also on a four game losing streak having lost to the same four teams as the Aggies and much like New Mexico State the four game losing streak has seen most close contests with the exception of a 16-point loss against Utah State.

DU's defense hasn't been as good as New Mexico State's as they're allowing 70.9 points per game in conference play but their offense has been better than the Aggies' as they score 72.1 points per game in conference play to the Aggies' 59.8.

New Mexico State has been able hold down their opponents' scoring and we expect much of the same today from the Aggies. The question remains as to whether the Aggies can muster enough offense to win. Denver has just one double-digit scorer in Moran Van Riper-Rose, a sophomore guard who is averaging 13.6 points per game.

Of concern for the Aggie women today is Denver's rebounding ability. The Pioneers are the best rebounding team in conference play at 41.6 rebounds per game and they also boast the best rebounding percentage at 56.3 percent.

These two teams have not met since their Sun Belt Conference days but the Aggies have won five of the past six in the series.

This is a key matchup today as it represents the final game of the first half of conference play. The winner of the game remains within shouting distance of the top half of the league while the loser will drop to 8th place in conference play and a full five games behind first place Seattle, four behind Utah State and three behind UTSA, LA Tech and Idaho (pending the outcome of today's games).

Today's game is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be heard on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Daily Aggie :: 01/23/13

The Aggie men's basketball team is back in action tonight against WAC new-comer Denver in a crucial conference game for both teams. The Pioneers are alone in second place at 7-1 in league play while the Aggies are a game behind at 6-2. Both teams are chasing the league's only remaining unbeaten, Louisiana Tech, who is 7-0.

The Pioneers were a trendy pick in the preseason but much like New Mexico State, struggled in the non-conference posting a 4-6 record. The Pioneers played an ambitious out of conference slate with plenty of signature win opportunities against teams like Stanford, Cal, Wyoming, Colorado State and Southern Miss but failed to win any of those games. The Pios' lone conference loss is to Louisiana Tech.

The Pioneers are led by 6'6" forward Chris Udofia who comes into the game averaging 12.4 points per game. Denver is also led by Royce O'Neal who is averaging 12.1 points per game. The Pioneers run a Princeton style offense with plenty of back door cuts but they are also deadly three point shooters garnering nearly 40 percent of their total points from behind the arc. In conference play the Pioneers have shot nearly 40 percent from distance while lofting up a ridiculous 185 three point attempts including 35 against UT Arlington. They have been particularly hot of late. In the past three games they've shot 30-for-65 from three which is just under 47 percent. Brett Olsen is the team's best three point shooter at 42 percent (45-of-107).

One of the biggest key for the Aggies tonight is guarding the three point arc. In Denver's losses this season they've shot just 29 percent from three.

Denver also sports a solid scoring defense. Just one WAC team has scored more than 60 points against the Pioneers, no team has scored more than 70 (probably due in large part to Denver's style of play and limiting possessions). Two conference opponents have failed to break 40 points and Denver's points against average in league play is 50. The Pioneers are also one of the top teams in the league in turnovers forced averaging 15.6 and a turnover rate of 25 percent which is best in the league and seventh best in the country.

Denver is a terrible rebounding team which is something the Aggies must dominate tonight. Denver doesn't turn the ball over much and makes the most of their possessions. The Aggies are going to have to be efficient tonight and if they can get this game played at a fast tempo it would really favor the Aggies.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

The Daily Aggie :: 01/19/13

It's gameday once again for the Aggie men and Aggie women. The men host San Jose State tonight in the Pan Am after dominating Utah State on Thursday night. It was the best complete game the Aggies have played this entire season. The Aggies held the league's most efficient offense to just 38 percent shooting, dictated play in the pain with seven blocks including five from Sim Bhullar who at this point is the leading candidate for WAC Freshman of the Year. Another key statistic is that Utah State shot just four free throws which is amazing considering the number of blocks the Aggies had. New Mexico State being able to block and alter shots without fouling is huge advantage if they can keep it up.

Over the course of Marvin Menzies' tenure we've become accustom to high-scoring Aggie teams. This year is different though. The Aggies don't have the explosive offense that they've had in the past, however, this year's team is becoming one of Coach Menzies best defensive teams he's had here which at the end of the day is going to help them win a championship. We'll take a team that can lock down the opposition over a team that has to rely on offense and outscore team any day of the week. Offense is fickle and and go through cold streaks but defense isn't subjected to cold streaks.

It is also no coincidence that the Aggies' five game win streak coincides by Bandja Sy's emergence on the offensive end. Mired in a season-long offensive funk, Sy is shooting 32-of-49 and averaging 18.8 points over the past five games. Maybe more importantly is Bandja has stopped relying on being a three point shooter taking just 11 attempts over the past five games (by comparison he took 22 three point attempts in the first five games of the season and 11 in back-to-back games against New Mexico, both losses).

Tonight the Aggies have a chance to run their win streak to six games. The Spartans come into the game off a huge loss against Denver on Thursday night scoring a season-low 37 points. The Spartans are last in the league in field goal percentage, two point field goal percentage and 9th in the league in three point shooting percentage. The Spartans do have the WAC's leading scorer in James Kinney at 20.6 points per game and forward Chris Cunningham is chipping in 10.8 points per game but no other Spartans are in double-digits scoring but Kinney and Garrett are both in San Jose due to violation of team rules (h/t Jason Groves).

The one thing the Aggies need to avoid is a letdown. The Aggies kept themselves in the thick of the WAC race by beating Utah State but a loss to the Spartans would undo all of that.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (MT) time and can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN3.com.

The Aggie women are also back in action tonight coming off a heartbreaking loss at Utah State. The Aggies led most of the game but lost 65-63 on a last-second three point shot. The Aggies had two chances at the free throw line in the final 17 seconds but both times missed the front end of one-and-one which kept it a one-point lead. Tonight the Aggies face San Jose State who comes into the game with just a 6-11 record but they're 3-3 in WAC play and have won two games in a row with a 103-80 win over Utah State and a much, much closer win over Denver, 68-67.

The Spartans are the youngest team in the country playing six freshmen and two sophomores and a junior. Ta'rea Cunningham, one of the two sophomore, is averaging 20.7 points per game. She is backed up by freshmen Emily Schill and Riana Bird who average 11.2 and 10.5 points per game.

This is a winnable game for the Aggies but it's another game in which the Aggies need this game to be in the 60s and not in the 70s, 80s or 90s. SJSU can score, they've hit the 80+ mark twice, the 90+ mark once and 100+ once while the Aggies have hit the 70+ mark just four times this season and have more often than not scored in the 50s and 60s with three games in the 40s and one game in the 30s.

One issue the Aggies have had during this three game losing streak is their free throw shooting. They shot just 12-for-22 in a six point loss to Seattle and the aforementioned one-and-one misses against Utah State which could have made the game a two, three, four or five point game had they made any combination of free throws.

San Jose State would like this game to be played at a fast pace. They're tops in the league and second in the country in possessions per 40 minutes at nearly 85. The Aggies have done a good job of keeping the games played at a pace they're more comfortable with.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off.  Continue Reading This Post >>