The Daily Aggie :: 12/29/12

The drive for a couple of WAC titles begins tonight for both the Aggie men's and women's basketball teams. The Aggies both take on UT Arlington with the men on the road and the women at home. The men tip off at 6:00 p.m. (MT) and will take on a UT Arlington team that is just one of three teams in the league with a winning record heading into league play. At 5-3 their three losses have come at the hands of high-major teams but don't fool yourselves too much as two of the three teams they've faced are shells of their former selves in Texas and Oklahoma (it appears unlikely either will make the NCAA tournament this season) and a third loss coming at the hands of No. 22 Oklahoma State. Their five wins have come against Cal State-Bakersfield, Samford, North Texas, Texas-Pan American and Houston Baptist which is to say that they don't have a quality win yet.

The Aggies' best wins this season have come against Southern Miss and South Alabama (3-0 in Sun Belt play) but missed out on a chance for two more quality wins against UTEP and New Mexico. The Aggies are really still trying to get their feet under them but as we noted yesterday, WAC play should provide that opportunity.

The Mavericks average 62 points per game while giving up just 59. The Aggies are averaging just 66.7 points per game but are only allowing 60 points per game. This could be another game in which the Aggies and their opponent grind it out down the stretch but it could also be an opportunity for the Aggies to

Jordan Reves leads UTA averaging a double-double at 10 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Kevin Butler is also averaging 10 points per game for UTA and chips in five boards per game. As will be the case throughout league play the Aggies will have a substantial size advantage over the Mavericks. Reves is the tallest Maverick at 6'10" while no other UTA player stands above 6'6".

With the newfound shooting of Kevin Aronis and Matej Buovac as well as Remi Barry's improved play over the last few games, Daniel Mullings, Sim Bhullar and Tyrone Watson plus the defense of Bandja Sy, the Aggies should be too much for UTA to handle and this could be a double-digit win for the Aggies on the road. The Aggies really need to establish early on that they are going to be the dominant team in the WAC and tonight will be a great opportunity against a team that went 24-9 and 15-1 in the Southland last year.

Tonight's game tips off at 6:00 p.m. (MT) with radio coverage available via the Aggie Sports Network and streaming audio online via Aggie Access (subscription required). Live Stats will also be available via the UT Arlington athletic website.

A half hour after the men tip off in Arlington the women will tip off in the Pan Am against UT Arlington. The Mavericks are just 2-8 on the season and average a paltry 53.4 points per game while allowing 73.8 points per game. The Aggies average just 56.2 points per game but only give up 59 points per game.

This game is very similar to the Aggies' last game against UMKC where offensively the teams were similar but the advantage was clearly to the Aggies on the defensive end.

Once again the Aggies need to avoid the lengthy scoring droughts and the Aggies also need to do a better job of scoring inside because they can't count on hitting 14 threes every game. The Aggies have gone away from Kelsie Rozendaal a bit as of late and they need to get back to feeding her the ball because she has proven this season that she can be an effective scorer for the Aggies and can be someone to balance out the perimeter shooting from Gilbreath, Williamson and the group of Aggie freshmen shooters.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff can can be heard on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces and streaming audio and video via Aggie Access (subscription required).