The New Mexico State men's and women's basketball teams are back in action today as the women take on Nevada at 3:30 p.m. (MT) and the men take on Louisiana Tech at 7:00 p.m. (MT). The women are coming off a tough 79-54 loss to Fresno State on Thursday night, a game in which had it not been for 36 turnovers and a turnover rate of 46.3 percent, they just might have pulled off the upset. They were in the game until a 26-5 run.
Their issues stem from the season and career-ending injury to senior point guard Kaitlyn Soto. Her absence has put the Aggies into a situation of not having a comfortable ball handler. Freshmen Hannah Womack and Simone Ruedin handled a lot of the point guard duties on Thursday night along with sophomore Dre Chenier. No doubt the trio will become much more comfortable over the course of the remaining games as it will become a bit of trial by fire for whomever handles the point guard duties.
As we noted yesterday, Nevada has had struggles much like the Aggies have and come into the game with a 4-16 record and an identical 1-5 record in WAC play. They're led by senior guard Kate Kevorken who is averaging 16.4 points per game and 16.1 points per game in WAC play. She is one of the best shooters in the WAC hitting 60 percent of her two point shot attempts and a respectable 32.3 percent of her three point tries.
This is a winnable game for the Aggies. Nevada is dead last in the league in field goal percentage and two point field goal percentage and is seventh in the league in rebounding. The Aggies have been a very good rebounding team this season and are second in rebounding percentage at 53.5 percent. To put that in perspective, the Aggie men are the WAC's best rebounding team on the men's side with a rebounding percentage of 58.1 percent.
Neither Nevada nor New Mexico State have been lighting it up offensively so this will in all likelihood be another game in the mid 50s to very low 60s. As has been the case many Aggie games this season, the team that hits the 50-point threshold first will be the likely winner of this game.
You can hear the game in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski calling the game. Streaming audio and video are also available via Aggie Access (subscription required).
The Aggie men take on Louisiana Tech as they start the second half of WAC play. The Aggies defeated LA Tech by ten the first time the two teams met in Ruston.
This is a very interesting game in that Louisiana Tech is MUCH, we repeat MUCH better than their record indicates. They may be 3-4 in league play but three of those four losses by been by a combined total of eight points losing to Idaho by two in double-overtime, losing to Utah State by four and losing to Nevada by four in a game that was close throughout (unlike the Aggies' game against Nevada).
Defensively the Bulldogs are middle of the pack but they are tops in the league in forcing turnovers at 15.7 per game and are turning opponents over at a 22 percent clip. The Aggies have struggled a bit at times with turnovers and are second to last in the league in turnovers (WAC play only) averaging 15 per game with a turnover rate of nearly 21 percent. Advantage LA Tech.
LA Tech isn't a great shooting team but they do rely heavily on the three pointer, getting 33 percent of their offense from deep. It's been hit or miss for the Aggies, in their five league wins they've been terrific, in their two losses they've been tragic.
This will be a fast paced game (these two teams are one and two in possessions per 40 minutes) and high scoring. It would not surprise us to see a game with the winning score in the 80s or even low 90s.
This is definitely not a game the Aggies can look past. Louisiana Tech is a capable team and quite frankly, the surprise of the league this year under first-year head coach Michael White.
Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (MT) tip-off and can be seen on AggieVision, ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court. You can also hear the game on the Aggie Sports Network with streaming audio and video available via Aggie Access (subscription required).
Aggie Men's Basketball
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News previews tonight's game.
The LA Tech athletic website previews today's game.
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