The Daily Aggie :: 01/09/10

The Aggie men's and women's basketball teams are back in action tonight. The women open up the home conference slate with Hawai'i. The Wahine are 6-8 on the season but are a team that has made a 180 degree turn from their direction the past couple of seasons. The Wahine are under the direction of Dana Takahara-Dias, a former player and assistant at Hawai'i. She took over in the offseason and has injected life into the program. The Wahine have taken some lumps in the non-conference but they have also won against perennial Big 12 power Kansas State in Las Vegas and played a close game against perennial Pac 10 power Arizona State. They also have a pair of victories over Kent State. They're coming off a big loss at Fresno State but Hawai'i has three wins on the road this season. This is a game that the Aggies must win. The Aggies are further along in the development process than Hawai'i is and simply put, the Aggies are a better team and are playing at home.

Hawai'i is led by Keisha Kanekoa, a junior guard who is averagin 9.9 points per game. Breanna Arbuckle is second on the team along with Leilani Gadones who are both scoring 7.5 points per game. The Wahine are not a strong free throw shooting team hitting just 63.7 percent of their attempts. They are also not a great three point shooting team, they're hitting just 27.8 percent of their threes, although, Boise State was not a good three point shooting team and yet they hit nine against the Aggies. Both Keisha Kanekoa and Leilani Galdones are the Wahine's main three point threats. Kanekoa has hit 6-of-14 three point attempts (42.9 percent) while Gadones has hit 16-of-49 attempts (32.7 percent). The Wahine are a good rebounding team, they average 39.2 rebounds per game and are outrebounding opponents by almost two rebounds per game. They are also pretty good on the offensive glass as they average 14.4 offensive rebounds per game.

The Aggies should be able to dominate this game. The Aggies are a well balanced offensive team. Jasmine Lowe has led the Aggies in scoring five times, Crystal Boyd four times, Madison Spence three times and Danisha Corbett twice. Teams cannot just focus on one player because they must pick which of the four to try to stop. And as we saw against both Kansas and Boise State, if you stop one player, it may only be for a half as any of the other three players are capable of breaking loose.

The Aggies' free throw percentage has dropped a bit in the past few games but they're still shooting a solid 72.6 percent of their free throws. They're also hitting 35.6 percent of their three point attempts and once again, any of the four players we just mentioned are capable of lighting it up from downtown. Throw into that mix Kaitlyn Soto who hasn't scored a ton this year but she is the team's best three point shooter in terms of percentage hitting 64.3 percent of her threes (9-of-14). And don't forget about the Aggie post players who have been doing a solid job with sophomore Tabytha Wampler and freshmen Malia Magazzeni, Chrissy Fletcher and Camila Rosen all rotating through the five spot. Kelsi Rozendaal has also played and contributed some solid minutes off the bench for the Aggies.

Tonight's game starts at 7:05 p.m. with radio coverage on KSNM AM 570. Streaming audio and video will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie men's basketball team is on the road in the state of Idaho as they take on Boise State tonight in their third league game. The Broncos are 0-2 in WAC play and will be desperate to get a win. The Broncos let a conference game slip away against Fresno State, it was a game they led for most of the night but a pair of three point plays by Fresno State in the final minute of the game led to the Bronco loss.

Boise State is averaging 68.0 points per game in conference play and is giving up 73.5 points per game in conference play. The Aggies are giving up just 64.5 points per game in conference play but they are only scoring 61.0 points per game in conference play through two games. The Broncos and Aggies are both near the bottom of the league in field goal percentage after two games and Boise State is hitting just 27 percent of their three point attempts in league play but they're also only giving up 27.3 percent of their opponents three point attempts.

The Broncos are led by Ike Okoye who is averaging 13.5 points per game this season. La'Shard Anderson is averaging 12.3 points per game and one player the Aggies must be aware of is Robert Arnold who is only averaging 9.7 points per game this season but in two conference games is averaging 20.0 points per game. Big man Kurt Cunningham is averaging 9.3 points per game and is hitting 64 percent of his shots.

Look for the Aggie offense to get back on track tonight and look for a big game from Jahmar Young. Young has played exceptionally well at Taco Bell Arena in his career. He is has had a 33 point and a 25 point game against the Broncos in Boise.

These two teams have combined for some high scoring affairs since the Aggies joined the WAC and all 11 games between these two teams have seen the winning team score at least 70 points and the winner of the past five games has scored 99, 107, 87, 104 and 80 points. While we don't necessarily expect either team to reach the 80s tonight we also don't expect a score in the 60s either.

The Aggies and Broncos tip off at 7:00 p.m. MT tonight and fans can listen to the game on the Aggie Sports Network. Streaming audio will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

On to today's links...

Aggie Men's Basketball
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News previews this weekend's WAC road trip.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News talks about Wendell McKines' controversial (to some) blog post.

The Sports Network previews tonight's game between the Aggies and Broncos.

The Boise State athletic website previews tonight's game.

The NM State athletic website previews tonight's game.

Aggie Women's Basketball
The Hawai'i athletic website previews tonight's game.

The NM State athletic website previews tonight's game.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News previews tonight's game.

Aggie Softball
The WAC Softball Blog previews the San Jose State Spartans.

Aggie Football
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News and NM State AD McKinley Boston briefly discuss the rumor that head football coach DeWayne Walker might head to the NFL with USC head coach Pete Carroll.

Geoff Grammer of the Santa Fe New Mexican blogs his thoughts on the situation.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News blogs his thoughts on the situation.

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