The Daily Aggie :: 12/22/12

The Aggie women's basketball team bounced back last night and crushed UMKC 75-50 in a game that they led wire-to-wire. The Aggies scored the game's first five points and never looked back. The team led 18-2 with just under 12 minutes left in the first half and 33-11 with just under four minutes left in the half. UMKC ended the half on a 10-0 run to cut the Aggies' lead to 33-21 and scored the first basket of the second half to trim the Aggies' lead to 10 at 33-23 but New Mexico State seized control with a 7-0 run and cruised the rest of the way.

As we noted in yesterday's Daily Aggie there was the distinct possibility that this was going to be a bounceback game for the Aggies offensively considering UMKC's poor play defensively. The Aggies lit it up from deep converting 14-of-30 three point attempts. Danesia Williamson and Stephanie Gilbreath both broke out of their offensive funks and Williams went for 21 points on 50 percent shooting and Gilbreath finished with 14 on 45.4 percent shooting both well above their season shooting percentage averages. In reality the difference in this game was the Aggies' stifling defense (in combination with UMKC's horrendous offense). The Roos were held to just 28.6 percent shooting and hit just 1-of-14 from downtown. The Aggies also forced 18 UMKC turnovers, five above the 'Roos season average while committing just 11 themselves.

The Aggies victory is their sixth on the season and matches last year's win total. The Aggies open up conference play right after Christmas (December 29th) and this win will definitely give them some momentum going into conference play where there is no dominant team and the race appears to be wide open. Texas State (6-3), the Aggies (6-4) and UTSA (6-5) are the only teams in the league with a record above .500 while the rest of the league is a dismal 24-47 which includes preseason favorite Utah State who has struggled out of the gate to a 3-8 record.

Despite the big 25-point win there are a few concerns coming out of this game. The Aggies shot the ball well from deep as we mentioned but from inside the three point arc the Aggies were just 8-for-23 (37 percent) and the Aggies need to be able to score inside and can't depend on shooting over 45 percent from deep every night especially considering that coming into the game they'd been converting under 30 percent of their three point attempts all season long.

The Aggie men's basketball team is back in action tonight as they take on Missouri State at 7:00 p.m. (MT). The Bears are, for lack of a better word, awful. Plain and simple this is a game that the Aggies should be able to win handily. Missouri State has not beaten a Division I opponent this season and most recently lost to Alabama A&M from the SWAC.

Much like Missouri-Kansas City last night, Missouri State is near the bottom of Division I offensively shooting just 41.8 percent from two and 26.5 percent from three. They average just 58 points per game, although they're only allowing 62.4 point per game. Teams are shooting 45.3 percent from the floor against them including an eye-popping 53 percent from inside the three point arc. Their three point defense is fairly solid at 29.3 percent but as an opponent if you can hit over half your shots inside the arc there's not much need to shoot it from deep.

Tonight should be a "get right' game for the Aggies. A win can push them back to .500 heading into league play. We'd be a little surprised if the Aggies don't win big in this one.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (MT) tip off and can be seen on AggieVision and ESPN3.com.