The Aggie basketball team is back in action tonight with perhaps the most important conference game of the regular season tonight. A win by the Aggies puts them in the driver's seat for the 2-seed in the WAC tournament, a loss would drop them into a tie with Hawai'i in the loss column and also potentially Idaho depending on what they do tonight in Logan. It would also mean that both Idaho and Hawai'i would hold the tiebreakers with the Aggies (UH head to head and Idaho for the time being because they have a win over Nevada). The Aggies don't want to get into a situation where they HAVE to win on the road at Nevada just to stay out of the 4-seed.
New Mexico State fans also need to be rooting for Utah State
tonight Friday night. They host Idaho and a loss by the Vandals combined with a win by New Mexico State would give the Aggies a two-game lead in the loss-column with three to play and would provide a much needed cushion with a very tough road trip at Nevada and at Fresno State to end the season (don't scoff, both Idaho and Utah State lost at Fresno and Hawai'i needed overtime and every team but Idaho has lost at Nevada).
In the first meeting between these two teams Zane Johnson got loose for 29 points and hit seven three pointers. We doubt that will happen again tonight but the Aggies will definitely need to play better defense on him early than they did in Honolulu. Joston Thomas also had a big night with 19 points. The Aggies did a reasonably good job on Vander Joaquim holding him to 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Wendell finished with 14 points and nine rebounds but it was about as quiet a 14 point/9 rebound night as he's ever had. Bandja did have a good game late when the Aggies were making their comeback and we would expect the Aggies to try to get him involved in the offense early. Also, expect the Aggies to press some as that was a key to the Aggies' comeback late in the second half. The Warriors got a little sloppy with their ball handling and the Aggies were able to force turnovers and score easy baskets.
The Aggies are playing much better than they were when they made that trip to Honolulu and the Aggies are really starting to play their best basketball at the right time of the year (which is the case just about every year for this team). It should be a hard fought battle but we do expect the Aggies to hold serve at home.
Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (MT) tipoff and can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN3.com
Aggie Men's Basketball
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News talks about the possibilities for the Aggies.
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News features Tyrone Watson.
Marvin Menzies talks present and future in a letter to the Las Cruces Sun-News.
The Hawai'i athletic website previews tonight's game.
The Rice athletic website recaps the Aggies' loss.
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