The New Mexico State men's and women's basketball teams are back in action tonight and both are looking to stay unbeaten in 2013. The women picked up an impressive victory over UTSA on Thursday night thumping the Roadrunners in San Antonio. The Aggie offense clicked on pretty much all cylinders and as we predicted, the defense was solid as it has been much of the two years that Mark Trakh has been head coach, although in this game it was assistant coach Tamara Inouye who picked up the win due to a sudden pregame illness suffered by Coach Trakh which also afflicted the UTSA head coach at halftime.
Tonight the Aggies take on the Texas State Bobcats. Losers of three straight games to open up WAC play, the Bobcats are a high-possession, high-scoring team that will challenge the Aggies' ability to defend. The Bobcats average 76.2 points per game overall and are doing even better in conference averaging 78.3 points per game. Their defense however is not great. They allow 74.7 points per game which has ballooned to 84.3 points per game in three conference games and is no doubt not helped by giving up 98 points in a loss to San Jose State (in regulation) a game in which the ultra-rare occurred, a 100 possession game.
The Bobcats have a pair of high-scoring players in Diamond Ford (22.2 PPG) and Ashley Ezeh (16.4). They also have a third double-figures scorer in Jasmine Baugus (10.6 PPG). For a team that scores so many points, their shooting percentages are surprisingly low. They average just 39.2 percent shooting on the season (41.9 percent from twos and 31.1 percent from threes). Defensively, they're decent. Teams are shooting 38.5 percent against them but they do boast the league's second best three point shooting defense at 28.2 percent. Problematic for the Aggies will be Texas State's shot blocking. The Bobcats lead the league in blocked shots averagign 4.2 per game.
For the Aggies it will be the same story it always is. Can the offense bolster the defense and can the Aggies avoid long scoring droughts during the game? That will be especially important tonight in what figures to be a track meet. Against UTSA the Aggies had five stretches of around three minutes in which they were held scoreless and in three of those they were outscored 7-0, 8-0 and 9-0. Those are the kind of droughts the Aggies cannot afford to have against a high-scoring team.
Tonight's game is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be heard on KSNM AM 570 with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required).
The Aggie men will also look to build on their victory over UTSA as they host Texas State tonight. We had a chance earlier in the season to see Texas State play three games and much like UTSA this is not a very good team. The Bobcats will try to push the ball. They like to play at a little faster pace but at times it appears that they're just playing fast for the sake of playing fast.
They're eighth in the league in shooting percentage, ninth in the league in three point shooting percentage (only the Aggies are worse) and through three league games the Bobcats are averaging a paltry 55 points per game.
Defensively the Bobcats are bad. They're ninth in the league in field goal percentage defense overall and ninth in field goal percentage inside the three point arc allowing 52.8 percent and a whopping 61.6 percent through three WAC games. The Aggies would be well served to do what they did against UTSA in the second half. Take what the defense gives you and in this case, Texas State's defense should give the Aggies plenty inside the arc.
Joel Wright (15.3 PPG) and Matt Staff (13.4 PPG) lead the Bobcats in scoring, however, both are averaging under 30 minutes per game.
We fully expect another blowout win tonight with a big stretch of games coming up. Four of the next six games (counting tonight) will be against teams that are a combined 9-2 in league play with Seattle (0-2) figuring to be a tough game as well.
Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN3.com. Radio coverage is available on the Aggie Sports Network and streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required). Continue Reading This Post >>