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bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News
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Aggies Hold Off Matadors For 6-5 Win

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

BEAUMONT, TX - The New Mexico State baseball team defeated Cal State-Northridge 6-5 at Vincent-Beck Stadium in Beaumont, Texas, Thursday, March 3 to open up the YMBL Cardinal Classic hosted by Lamar University.

Sophomore Parker Hipp misplayed a ball in the top of the ninth inning to allow the tying run to get aboard, but came through for his team in the bottom of the inning, hitting a game-winning RBI single up the middle to with the bases loaded. Hipp finished the day going 3-of-4 at the plate with two RBI, a run scored and a walk.

Stating pitcher Dan Reid worked hard on the mound for NM State against the Matadors going 6 1/3 innings with two strikeouts. He walked only two of the 31 batters he faced and allowed only two earned runs.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Ward Interview :: 03/01/11

bleedCrimson.net: Ryan Aguayo was named the WAC Hitter of the Week for his outstanding weekend last week against Buffalo.
Rocky Ward: He had one of those unbelievable weeks where almost every ball he hit was hit hard and if it wasn't hit hard it landed for a hit anyway. He went 4-for-4 with two home runs in the first game on Saturday and it was just perfect hitting. He used the conditions. He went out and looked for a fastball out over the plate, hit it to right field. I don't know if it would have left or not without the wind but it doesn't make any difference. It's about the hitter being smart enough to understand his conditions.

He just did a really nice job on the whole weekend. He's had a great start to the season period. Before the second game of the doubleheader I was giving him a hard time, I said, "Hey Ryan, you're hitting .600. Are you gonna keep that up?" and he just looked at me right dead in the eye and said, "Yeah, no problem" and he goes out and goes 4-for-4 with two home runs. Is he gonna .600? No he's not. But I don't know what he's gonna do. The kid has really great approach and he's one of the smartest baseball players I've ever been around. He doesn't grade as our best hitter when you look at his bat speed and his strength and all that stuff but there are days when he clearly is our best hitter.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 03/03/11

The Aggie basketball team has held Utah State to under 60 points twice this season and normally you'd think that would be good enough for two wins. Unfortunately both times the Aggies have been held well under their season average also. New Mexico State came up just short last night losing 58-54 and in doing so, the Aggies must win on Saturday night versus Nevada to earn the 3-seed in the WAC tournament. They can also still earn the 4-seed which would give them a bye but Idaho must lose to Fresno State and Hawai'i must lose both of its final games this week.

The 2-seed would have been nice, a double-bye, 80 minutes away from the NCAA Tournament, however, a 3-seed or 4-seed will still put the Aggies in a good position to win the tournament. Remember that winning three games in three days has been the usual routine for teams wanting to win the conference tournament title in years past. The Aggies have done it twice including last year. What the Aggies want to avoid is having to win four games in four days.

In the history of the WAC tournament which has been held since 1984, only one team has won four games in four days and that was UNLV in 1998 and they did so on their home court. Only three times has a team even won three in a row to reach the finals (UNLV along with TCU in 1997 and Boise State in 2005) with TCU losing to Utah and Boise State losing to UTEP. Three other times the teams have made it to the semifinals but lost. The rest of the teams have failed to make it out of the quarterfinal round (i.e. one win and out).

We've also shared this fact before but only twice has a team seeded 5th or lower won the WAC tournament. The aforementioned 5-seed UNLV in 1998 and 5-seed Hawai'i in 2001, although that Hawai'i team did not have to win four games in four days to do so.

One other thought. With last night's loss the Aggies fall to 6-9 in games decided by 10 points or less, 4-7 in games decided by six points or less (i.e. two possession games) and 2-5 in conference games decided by six points or less.

The biggest difference between last year's team and this year's team? Late game execution. Coach Menzies brought it up in his postgame press conference as reported by Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News saying, "We are not making the right plays in winning time right now and it's been hurting us."

Last year's team was an astounding 13-5 in games decided by 10 points or less, 11-1 in games decided by six points or less (again, two possession games), and 8-0 in conference games decided by six points or less (two of those eight wins came in the WAC tournament). The lone loss in those six point or less games... Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament.

If the Aggies can fix that late game execution, we agree with Coach Menzies that they have a shot.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: New Mexico State Seeding Scenarios :: Version 2.0

After Wednesday night's loss to Utah State, New Mexico State is eliminated from contention for the No. 2 seed in next week's WAC tournament in Las Vegas. The Aggies still control their own destiny for the No. 3 seed but with a loss on Saturday to Nevada, depending on the outcome of both Thursday night and Saturday night's games, could find themselves as low as the No. 6 seed in the tournament.

Below is what we believe to be the scenarios for the Aggies' seeding possibilities. Remember that seeds 3 and 4 still earn a first round bye while seeds 5 and 6 play seeds 7 and 8 on day one of the WAC tournament and then should they advance, would face seeds 3 and 4 in the quarterfinals.

No. 3 - NMSU defeats Nevada and finishes 9-7
No. 4 - NMSU loses to Nevada and finishes 8-8, Idaho loses to Fresno State and finishes 8-8, Nevada defeats LA Tech and finishes 9-7, Hawai'i finishes 7-9
No. 5 - NMSU loses to Nevada, Idaho and Nevada both finish 8-8, Hawai'i finishes 7-9. Idaho earns 3 seed via win over USU, Nevada owns head-to-head tiebreaker over NMSU
No. 5 - NMSU loses to Nevada and finishes 8-8, Idaho, Hawai'i and Nevada also finish 8-8
No. 6 - NMSU loses to Nevada and finishes 8-8, Idaho defeats Fresno State and finishes 9-7, Hawai'i splits final two games and finishes 8-8, Nevada defeats LA Tech and finishes 8-8
No. 6 - NMSU, Idaho and Nevada each finish 8-8, Hawai'i finishes 9-7.
No. 6 - NMSU loses to Nevada and finishes 8-8, Nevada, Idaho and Hawai'i each finish 9-7

NM State vs. Utah State Game Photos

NM State vs. Utah State Game Photos
NM State vs. Utah State Game Photos

Aggie Comeback Falls Short Against No. 21 Utah State

Tshilidzi NephaweThe New Mexico State men's basketball team dropped their fourth consecutive game losing 58-54 to No. 21 Utah State on Wednesday night. The loss dropped the Aggies to 8-7 overall and fell out of contention for the 2-seed and a double-bye in next week's WAC tournament in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Aggies trailed by six at halftime and struggled from the floor shooting 37.5 percent and just 2-of-7 from the free throw line. Hernst Laroche scored the first basket for the Aggies to give them a 2-0 lead and a jumper from Tory Gillenwater gave the Aggies a 4-2 lead. Utah State would take an 8-6 lead on a pair of free throws from E.J. Farris with 13:36 as neither team's offense could find a rhythm early. Utah State would go up by 14-9 after a layup from Pooh Williams with 8:29 left in the first half but the Aggies would go on a 6-0 run to take a 15-14 lead on a jumper from Tshilidzi Nephawe. Utah State would regain their five point cushion on a layup from Tai Wesley with 2:33 left in the half. The Aggies would get a free throw from Tyrone Watson with 1:24 left in the first half and Utah State would score on a jumper from Brockeith Pane to take a 27-21 lead into the halftime break.

New Mexico State would fall behind by nine early in the second half as a Tai Wesley layup would give the UtAgs a 33-24 lead with 15:59 left to play. The Aggies would answer with a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 33-29 with 12:02 left in the game. USU would get a three pointer from Brian Green to go up 36-29 but Gordo Castillo would hit back-to-back threes and Tyrone Watson would get a layup to give the Aggies a 37-36 lead with 9:51 left to play.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 03/02/11

Showdown. Aggies vs. Aggies. There's certainly much more at stake in the short term for New Mexico State than there is for Utah State. The northern Aggies have a number one seed wrapped up, they had that sewn up a couple weeks ago. For New Mexico State a 2-seed is at stake. The Aggies can make it easy on themselves and win both games this week and assure themselves the 2-seed. If they split this week, things become much more difficult and they have to rely on other teams to lose and bottom half of the standings teams to win. In the long term, speaking in terms of NCAA tournament bids, this game may be more important for Utah State. This is more than likely their last hurdle in the regular season. We don't really see them tripping up at Louisiana Tech so a win tonight would almost guarantee them a 15-1 regular season conference record. That coupled with their win over St. Mary's in the Bracketbusters plus a likely run to the conference title game should assure them of an at-large bid. New Mexico State already knows they have to earn an NCAA bid the hard way by winning the conference tournament. It's something they've done twice in the past four seasons and they've gotten to the conference championship game three of the past four seasons. The question is whether they will have to win two, three or heaven-forbid, four games in a row to do so.

Keys to the game? The Aggies have to play better defense than they have the past three games. They also need to get much better production from their big men. We've chronicled the struggles of Hamidu Rahman and Tshilidzi Nephawe over the past couple days so we won't rehash those ugly details.

The Aggies did a relatively good job defensively against Utah State in the first meeting and if not for a massive 18-0 run in the first half, the Aggies could have very easily won that game in Logan.

One new (or at least new to us since we don't watch USU regularly) is the driving ability of Utah State point guard Brockeith Pane. We didn't notice it that much in the first meeting but we did notice it quite a bit the last time Utah State was on t.v. against SMC. He was very aggressive in penetrating the lane which coincidentally is something the Aggies are struggling to defend right now. San Jose State and Hawai'i (especially Hawai'i) had good success getting inside against the Aggies with their guards. The Aggies will need to shore that up tonight.

A couple of injury notes to pass along, Troy Gillenwater (thumb) and Hamidu Rahman (calves) did not practice on Monday. Their statuses will be a game-time decision although we can't possibly imagine Troy or Hamidu missing this game.

The Aggies have been hearing all weekend long how badly they stink and yes, we're guilty of piling on, although we've been harping on the Aggies' rebounding and transition defense all season. The question is how will New Mexico State respond? They're at home, their backs are against the wall and they're playing their two biggest rivals this week to close out the regular season and a 2-seed and double-bye is on the line. How will the Aggies respond?

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. (MT) tipoff and can be seen on ESPN2 in glorious High Definition.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Spence Interview :: 03/01/11

bleedCrimson.net: A big road win on Saturday at Nevada, your team's back was against the wall and you fought back and notched a very good road win.
Darin Spence: Yeah no question about that. It's much much bigger than what we realized at the time just because of what we had to go through in the week. It was our third game in that week and two on the road. It wasn't a very kind stretch for us. We practiced Sunday, Kaitlyn Soto gets hurt. We turn around and play Fresno [Monday] we play a tough game there and then we didn't practice again until Wednesday night, played at Utah State who's playing as well as anybody in our league and plays differently than anybody else. We're short on guards again, could have played a little bit better but still competed. Then after that game we were pretty drained and just a beat up team. We didn't even practice before we played Nevada. We had a little shootaround that morning and I think played probably our best game of the year. Kaitlyn came back and played and gave us some good minutes. Madi was sick, she's been sick. Jasmine Lowe played really well and everybody else kind of fit in and did their piece and got a huge win. It was just a great atmosphere there. Nevada had a good crowd, they had a lot of fun things going on, it was just a fun atmosphere and our kids competed and played their backsides off and it was a great win for us.  Continue Reading This Post >>

AggieVision :: New Bats, Same Offense

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - NM State head coach Rocky Ward talks about the difference in change from aluminum bats to the new BB-Core bats used in NCAA Division I baseball. He is teamed up with seniors Wes Starkes and Ryan Aguayo to give a demonstration and show what kind of a difference the new bat is making.

The video was taped and produced by Aggie Vision and a complete schedule of baseball games to air this season can be found at AggieVision.tv.   Continue Reading This Post >>

Gaston De La Torre Earns WAC Golfer Of The Week

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

ENGLEWOOD, CO - New Mexico State’s Gaston De La Torre has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Golfer of the Week for February 21-27.

De La Torre, a junior from Brush Prairie, Wash. (Hockinson HS), won his first career collegiate golf tournament with a score of 9-under par (72-67-68-207) at the Rice Intercollegiate, February 21-22. He trailed by one stroke entering the third and final round before shooting a 68 to win by three strokes and set a new tournament scoring record.

He also helped the Aggies notch their first team title of the season as New Mexico State won by three strokes and beat 14 other teams in the field. It is the first time in his career that De La Torre has won a WAC golfer of the week or month award.

The Aggies will be back in action on March 7-8 at the Fresno Lexus Classic in Fresno, Calif.