The Daily Aggie :: 01/03/10

What a win last night for the Coach Menzies and the Aggies. There are several important things to take away from last night's win. First and foremost, the Aggies won their conference opener.

Second, the Aggies beat Utah State playing Utah State's game, a slow defensive game that was mostly played in the halfcourt. Certainly our Aggies did not look particularly comfortable at times playing in the half court, especially that final stretch of six minutes between Gordo Castillo's bucket and Jonathan Gibson's bucket with 17 seconds left, however, it was still a pace that favored Utah State. When Utah State's Pooh Williams hit the three pointer with 35 seconds left to draw Utah State to within one, every Aggie fan in the building probably had nightmarish flashbacks to the WAC semifinal when NM State gave up their 13-point halftime lead.

Third, any team in the WAC that wants to have a shot at winning the regular season title MUST protect home court. The Aggies did that and they'll face a stiff test on Monday when Nevada comes to town. The Wolf Pack will undoubtedly be fired up. This has been the league's premiere rivalry since NM State joined the WAC. The battles between these two have been epic and with Nevada losing on the road at Louisiana Tech last night, you can be sure they'll even more motivated to win. Starting out in an 0-2 hole is not something what Nevada wants to do.

Lastly, as mentioned by Jason Groves in his blog, the Aggies showed they can close out a game, although we would contend that the Aggies have shown that already (see UTEP, Pepperdine and Texas Southern). What they really showed is that they are capable of doing it consistently.

The Aggie women's basketball team takes on nationally ranked Kansas this afternoon in the Pan Am. The Jayhawks come in ranked No. 21 in the country and have won seven straight and are 10-2. The Aggies come in with a 9-4 record and have won seven of nine, their only two losses coming to New Mexico.

Kansas is led by senior Danielle McCray who is averaging 21.2 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. She's the team's best shooting and is hitting 51.4 percent of her shots from the field. She is also the team's best three point shooter and is hitting 50 percent of her three point attempts, 31-of-62. Aishah Sutherland and Krysten Boogard are averaging 12.6 and 12.5 points per game respectively. Sutherland is hitting 58.7 percent of her shots and Boogard is hitting a sizzling 63.7 percent of her shots.

Kansas is averaging 77.3 points per game and is giving up just 62.9 points per game. The Jayhawks are holding opponents to just 39.2 percent shooting from the field and just 32.7 percent from three point distance. The Jayhawks are hitting 48.4 percent of their shots and 39.2 percent of their three point attempts.

Kansas presents the biggest challenge the Aggies will face this season. It's very rare that a BCS team plays an away game against a mid-major school. The Aggies must take care of the ball. They've had 21, 22 and 18 turnovers in the past three games. That will not cut it against Kansas. They'll have to have a turnover number somewhere around 12 or fewer. The Aggies must also limit KU's offensive rebounds. We expect Madison Spence, Crystal Boyd and Jasmine Lowe to each have a big game. Tabytha Wampler should be a factor as well, she was one of the lone bright spots for the Aggies last season against Kansas.

Today's game tips off at 2:00 p.m. MT and can be seen on AggieVision, Fox Sports Arizona (tape delayed at 7:00 p.m. MT) and Altitude (2 a.m. MT). Streaming video and streaming audio will also be available for today's game via Aggie Access (subscription required).

On to today's links...

Aggie Men's Basketball
Shawn Harrison of the Logan Herald recaps last night's win by NM State.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News recaps last night's Aggie win.

The Salt Lake Tribune recaps NM State's victory.

The Deseret News recaps NM State win over Utah State.

The Utah State athletic website recaps the Aggies' win over Utah State.

The Sports Network recaps last night's Aggie win.

Scott Ficklin of True Blue A talks about the loss from a Utah State fan perspective.

Aggie Women's Basketball
Mechelle Voepel (ESPN.com) blogs about the Kansas Jayhawks.

The KU Athletic website previews today's game.

The NM State athletic website previews today's game.

The Lawrence Journal-World previews today's game.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News previews today's game and talks about Crystal Boyd's impact for the Aggies.

Randy Harrison of the Albuquerque Journal previews today's game.

Swimming and Diving
The NM State athletic website recaps yesterday's victory over Idaho on Senior Day.

Aggie Football
Todd Kaufman of The Bleacher Report talks about WAC recruiting and impact players.

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