Menzies Releases 2009-2010 Basketball Schedule

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

View the 2009/2010 Men's Basketball Schedule

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - With a trip to one of the most storied programs in college basketball and 15 regular season games in the Pan American Center, the New Mexico State men’s basketball team is set for an exciting season in 2009-10. Third-year head coach Marvin Menzies announced the schedule, Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Currently, the Aggies have a nationally televised game on ESPN2 scheduled when WAC foe Idaho travels to Las Cruces (Feb. 24).

“I’m happy with the schedule,” Menzies said. “With the guys that we’re lacing them up with, we put ourselves in a good situation to be successful. I think we have a competitive schedule that will allow us to bring the new players along but, at the same time, give the returning guys a quality experience with challenging games.”

NM State prepares for the season with an exhibition against Western New Mexico (Nov. 2) before it opens the season on the road at Saint Mary’s (Nov. 13). Last year, the Gaels advanced to the NIT quarterfinals before losing to San Diego State. The Aggies won the only previous meeting, 82-64, Nov. 19, 2000, in Las Cruces.

In this season’s home opener, the Aggies host in-state rival New Mexico (Nov. 17). This game marks the first time since the 1998-99 season that the Aggies hosted a rival in the home opener. Last season, NM State was swept in the series for the first time since 2004-05. The Lobos lost at Notre Dame in the second round of the NIT. NM State makes the return trip to Albuquerque, N.M. (Dec. 5).

“To kick the season off on a strong note with a strong competitor and a big-time rival will, hopefully, give us the push that we need at the beginning of the season to show the young guys and returners that how much the community supports us,” Menzies said.

The Aggies face Oklahoma Panhandle State (Nov. 21) in their first-ever meeting prior to traveling to California for the second time in two weeks for the rematch of last season’s ESPNU BracketBuster game. NM State takes on Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 24).

The Aggies return to Las Cruces to host North Carolina A&T on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26) and this is the first meeting between the programs. Rivalry games continue when NM State hosts UTEP (Dec. 1) in the first meeting of season before venturing to El Paso, Texas (Dec. 13). The series was split last year with each team winning on its home court. Last season, the Miners fell to Oregon State in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Championship Series.

NN State makes its third trip to California in the non-conference slate for a pair of games. The Aggies play at UCLA (Dec. 15) and are looking for the first win against the Bruins. Menzies is taking his squad to UCLA for the first time but NM State last met the Bruins in 2005-06. A year ago, UCLA lost to Villanova in the second round of the NCAA Tournament after three straight Final Four appearances. The Aggies continue the trip at Pepperdine (Dec. 18). Last year, NM State defeated the Waves, 90-66, in Las Cruces.

“The kids are excited about the UCLA game and having that opportunity to play a traditional powerhouse,” he said. “Going to California to play Saint Mary’s will be another tough test for us on the road. Winning in the non-conference is tough as it is, but to play solid teams like that makes it even more challenging.

“I feel with all the returning players we have, obviously, we’re going to be in a position to compete and win some games that we weren’t expected to win.”

A five-game home stand, the longest of the season, begins with Alcorn State (Dec. 21). The Aggies are 3-0 in the all-time series and they crushed the Braves, 86-58, in the last meeting in 2007-08. NM State renews the series with Texas Southern (Dec. 23), who the Aggies haven’t faced since 1991-92. The non-conference line-up concludes with Prairie View A&M (Dec. 28). NM State coasted to an 88-74 win over the Panthers a year ago.

The Aggies open WAC play with two home games for the first time since the 2006-07 season with Utah State (Jan. 2) and Nevada (Jan. 4). The Navy-clad Aggies represented the league in the NCAA Tournament but fell to Marquette. NM State is looking to snap a three-game skid to Utah State after the heartbreaking loss, 71-70, in the conference tournament semifinals last season. The Aggies split with the Wolf Pack last year with each team winning on the road. On an ESPN2 nationally televised broadcast, NM State recorded its first victory in Reno since 2000. Nevada lost to UTEP in the first round of the CBI.

“The conference overall is going to be very good,” Menzies said. “We’re going to climb up the ladder in the national rankings. I think we will jump three or four spots.”

The first conference road games are at Boise State (Jan. 9) and Idaho (Jan. 11). In 2008-09, the Aggies fell to the Broncos in both regular season games but rebounded with an 80-70 win in the WAC Tournament Quarterfinals. Boise State ended last season with a loss to Stanford in the CBI first round. The Aggies split with Idaho a year ago with each team winning at home. The Vandals played in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament and fell to Pacific in the season round. The return games mark the final home games of the season with Idaho (Feb. 24) and Boise State (Feb. 27).

The Aggies return to the Pan American Center to host Fresno State (Jan. 16) before traveling to Hawai’i (Jan. 21) and San Jose State (Jan. 23). Last season, NM State swept all three teams.

The longest WAC road stretch for the Aggies continues at Louisiana Tech (Jan. 30). The two teams split the series last year with each team winning on their home court. The second meetings of the season with San Jose State (Feb. 6) and LA Tech (Feb. 8) follow in Las Cruces.

The Aggies travel to Fresno State (Feb. 11) and host Hawai’i (Feb. 15) prior to traveling for the ESPNU BracketBuster (Feb. 20). NM State has played inside the Pan Am for the past two BracketBuster games.

NM State concludes the regular season at Nevada (March 4) and Utah State (March 6). The WAC Tournament returns to Reno, Nev., (March 10-13) with only the top eight teams advancing.

2009-10 NM State Men’s Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent
Nov. 2 Western New Mexico (Exhib.)
Nov. 13 at Saint Mary’s
Nov. 17 New Mexico
Nov. 21 Panhandle State
Nov. 24 at Cal State Fullerton
Nov. 26 North Carolina A&T
Dec. 1 UTEP
Dec. 5 at New Mexico
Dec. 13 at UTEP
Dec. 15 at UCLA
Dec. 18 at Pepperdine
Dec. 21 Alcorn State
Dec. 23 Texas Southern
Dec. 28 Prairie View A&M
Jan. 2 Utah State*
Jan. 4 Nevada*
Jan. 9 at Boise State*
Jan. 11 at Idaho*
Jan. 16 Fresno State*
Jan. 21 at Hawai’i*
Jan. 23 at San Jose State*
Jan. 30 at Louisiana Tech*
Feb. 6 San Jose State*
Feb. 8 Louisiana Tech*
Feb. 11 at Fresno State*
Feb. 15 Hawai’i*
Feb. 20 at ESPNU BracketBuster
Feb. 24 Idaho* (ESPN2)
Feb. 27 Boise State*
March 4 at Nevada*
March 6 at Utah State*
March 10-13 WAC Tournament

All dates are subject to change.
Home games in bold
* = denotes WAC games

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