The Daily Aggie :: 01/29/11

The Aggie men's and women's basketball teams are back in action today as they both take on the Idaho Vandals. The Aggie women play at 3:00 p.m. (MT) in Moscow as they try to improve to 5-2 in conference play. Idaho is coming off a 63-56 loss to Louisiana Tech on Thursday night. However, as the Aggies did on Thursday night, the Vandals blew out Boise State winning by 20 points. That being said, the Vandals lost the game before that the a previously winless San Jose State team, 63-61. On a side note, the Idaho men's and women's teams have given up the first conference win to the worst team on both the men's and women's side losing to San Jose State on the women's side and losing to Louisiana Tech on the men's side.

Idaho is led by Yinka Olorunnife who is averaging 15 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game. Rachele Kloke is second on the team at 11.5 points per game while Derisa Taleni ias averaging 10.1 points per game.

The Vandals are averaging 65 points per game on the season and just slightly below that, 64.2 points per game, in conference play. The Aggies are averaging 63.8 points per game in conference play meaning that this could be a very tightly contested game. The Aggies are 3-1 on the road this season with their only loss coming at Fresno State. A win this afternoon would be huge for the Aggies as they would sit 5-2 with a tough three-game stretch coming up as they return home to face second place Fresno State and then league leader Louisiana Tech in back-to-back games.

The game is scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be heard on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required). Live Stats will also be available via the Idaho athletic website.

The Aggie men are back in action tonight after their overtime victory against Boise State, an important win that moved them into a four-way tie for second place. Idaho meanwhile laid an egg against Louisiana Tech, a team that was winless in the WAC and on an eight-game losing streak.

The Bulldogs scored 71 points against Idaho, just the second time in the losing streak that they had scored more than 60 (the Bulldogs, even with the 71 point outburst are averaging under 60 points per WAC contest).

Idaho has the league's second best scoring defense at 62.1 points per game coming into tonight's contest and they are second in the league in field goal percentage (47.7 percent), first in the league in field goal percentage defense (38 percent), the best three point shooting team at 37.3 percent, though the Aggies are at 35 percent. Interestingly enough, the Aggies and Vandals are tied for first with the best three point field goal percentage defense allowing opponents to connect on just 25.8 percent of their attempts. The two teams are both averaging about six made threes per game so the winner of tonight's game could be the one that finds the most success from three point territory.

Idaho, much like Utah State, is a very patient offense as they average a league-best 15.6 assists per game. Tonight's game will be a challenge for the Aggie defense. They will need to play with better energy than they did against Boise State (at least the first 30 minutes of the game) and they will need to play much better defense than they have the past three games.

The question tonight will be, which Idaho and which New Mexico State teams show up to play. Will it be a classic battle between the two teams that showed up in the first meeting (preferably the offenses that showed up in the second half, not the first half)? Or will it be the Aggie team that showed up at Nevada and lost by 19 and the Idaho team that showed up against Louisiana Tech and lost by 15?

The answer will come tonight as tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (MT) The game can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN Full Court with streaming video available via ESPN3.com. The game can be heard on the Aggie Sports Network with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

On to today's links...

Aggie Men's Basketball
The Idaho athletic website previews tonight's game.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News previews tonight's game.

Jason Groves looks back at the Boise State win.

The Sports Network previews tonight's game.

Aggie Women's Basketball
The Idaho athletic website previews today's game.

Aggie Swimming and Diving
Head Coach Rick Pratt explains taper time.

Aggie Football
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the Aggie football team has hired Virgil Knight to take over the strength and conditioning duties.

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