The Daily Aggie :: 12/15/08

Maybe the Aggie basketball teams should play UTEP on Sunday from here on out. On consecutive Sundays the Aggies have defeated the hated rivals from the south. Last Sunday the women earned a measure of revenge snapping a seven game losing streak to the Orange and Blue while yesterday the men stopped a two game skid against the Miners. The final score was 90-78 but the game wasn't that close. NMSU led by as many as 16 in the first half before heading into halftime up by 14 and then in the second half continued to pour it on, going up by as many as 19 points before settling for a 12 point victory.

We weren't too far off in our projection that Jahmar Young and Jonathan Gibson's numbers would cancel out Randy Culpepper and Stefon Jackson's numbers and the inside duo of Wendell McKines and Troy Gillenwater (25 points combined) was more than UTEP got from their two starting bigs (15 points combined). In fact, McKines and Gillenwater scored just four points less than UTEP's two inside players plus their entire bench (a total of 29 points).

It was certainly not the prettiest of games and there was a lot of standing around on offense from both teams at times (UTEP much more so than NMSU) but you can't argue with a win. If you would have told us at halftime that NMSU would score 90 points and UTEP would score 78, we would have thought you were crazy. But that's what happened. Stefon Jackson and Randy Culpepper may have set some sort of record for most points scored in the last nine minutes of a game by two players with the game out of reach. NMSU did an absolutely marvelous job on the two players for the first 31 minutes of the game. The Miner duo had a combined 10 points at halftime and through the first 11 minutes of the second half they had added just two points to that total. Then with roughly 8:53 left in the game the Miners decided to pretty much just let Culpepper and Jackson shoot at will. Over the final 8:53 Jackson and Culpepper combined to score 33 of UTEP's 54 second half points. If not for those two taking every open (and sometimes not open) look they got, this probably would have been a 25+ point blowout victory.

Quite honestly, we're a bit surprised at how little trouble the Aggies had with UTEP. After a couple of close games early in the non-conference for UTEP, a loss to UNLV and a win over St. Mary's, coupled with a couple tough losses for the Aggies at Long Beach State and at North Texas we thought UTEP might give the Aggies some trouble. Not so much. Maybe we should be that surprised considering UTEP lost by 30 points to Arizona State, a team that yesterday needed overtime to defeat national powerhouse IUPUI by one point after trailing IUPUI the entire game... in Phoenix.

We don't know what to expect from Saturday's rematch but we do know this, we wish Jonathan Gibson hadn't decided to go one-on-one and dunk the ball at the buzzer. We weren't big fans of UNM stealing the ball as we were dribbling out the victory last season at the Pan Am and we can't say we're big fans of Jonathan blow past an unsuspecting defender after they had raised the white flag (although a small concession could be made if the Aggies were stuck on 98 and needed those two points to drop 100 on the Miners).

Bizarro stat of the game: Randy Culpepper attempted 19 three pointers in yesterday's game. The Aggies as a team only attempted 14.

Also, for those wondering where the game photos are, due to some technical difficulties (i.e. forgetting the camera battery in the charger at home) there were no photos taken. The lesson here, as always, we're kind of idiots some times. We won't apologize too much though. Instead of shooting the game, we got to enjoy it with the wife! (When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade).

Finally, you might have heard/read about this story already but we're going to share it with you anyway. Ben Woodside of North Dakota State scored 60 points in a triple overtime loss to Stephen F. Austin. Here's the kicker... He had scored just 11 points through the first 29 minutes of the game. He then proceded to score 49 points in the next 24 minutes of game play and knocked down a ridiculous 30 of 35 free throws.

On to today's links...

Aggie Men's Basketball
The Sports Network recaps yesterday's rivalry victory.

Bill Knight of the El Paso Times recaps yesterday's 90-78 woodshed job.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News recaps yesterday's Battle of I-10 first round victory.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News also recaps yesterday's victory.

The Associated Press recaps yesterday's 90-78 victory.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News blogs about what he learned about the Aggie men's basketball team.

Joe Meunch of the El Paso Times blogs his thoughts on yesterday's blowout... and they're not happy thoughts. (Thanks Vic)

Our friends at Rush The Court recap the weekend in college basketball.

Aggie Football
Jill Painter of the L.A. Daily News reports that UCLA defensive coach DeWayne Walker, candidate for the SDSU and NMSU jobs, will reported not get the SDSU job.

ESPN is reporting that the SDSU job will instead go to Ball State's Brady Hoke.

If you've found an article that you think other Aggie fans would like to read, send it to us! Select "The Daily Aggie" from the 'Category' drop-down.


Last Minute Dunk

By Aggie Girl:

It was poor sportsmanship to see the dunk at the end and hopefully we all don't see that again. I really wish that the Aggie men would play better defense and run some plays once in awhile. I bet there are more plays in the book than the "Give it to Gibson and hope that he makes it" play. Play as a team!!!!