NM State vs. UTEP Game Photos

NM State vs. UTEP Game Photos

Madison Spence Scores 20 But Aggies Fall 74-67 To UTEP In Final Non-Conference Game

The Aggie women's basketball team dropped their fifth consecutive game as they fell 74-67 to UTEP on Sunday afternoon to wrap up non-conference play. Madison Spence scored a game-high 20 points but the Aggies would surrender a nine point lead midway through the second half as the loss snapped a four-game win streak against the Miners.

The Aggies jumped out to a quick 8-5 lead through the first four minutes as Jasmine Lowe scored six of the Aggies' first eight points hitting a pair of three pointers. However, the Aggie offense would hit a dry spell as they would not score over the next seven minutes as the Miners would build a 16-8 lead. Lowe would end the scoring drought by hitting a pair of free throws to draw the Aggies to within six at 16-10. Lowe would get a layup with just over seven minutes left in the half to bring the Aggies to within four at 16-12. After a fast break layup by UTEP's Kim Smith pushed the lead back to 18-12, Danisha Corbett would hit a three pointer to draw the Aggies to within three down 18-15. Malia Magazzeni would get a jumper to bring the Aggies to within one at 18-17. The Aggies would retake the lead at 23-21 on jumper by Tabytha Wampler and would extend their lead to 28-21 behind a three point play from Wampler and a pair of free throws from Kaitlyn Soto and the Aggies would take a 30-23 lead into the halftime break finishing on a 22-7 run to end the half.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 01/02/11

The Aggie women's basketball team is back in action today as they look to end non-conference play on a high note. The Aggies, losers of four straight, are also looking to sweep the Miners for the second consecutive season. The Aggies have won four straight in the series.

UTEP is 7-4 on the season including a win over New Mexico. UTEP's wins have not exactly been over the stiffest of competition earning wins against Eastern New Mexico, Alcorn State, Idaho State, Texas State and Cal State-Northridge, however, they are wins nonetheless.

Gloria Brown leads the way for the Miners averaging 11.5 points per game while oddly enough, only playing 15.9 minutes per game off the bench, she has played in all 11 games but has not started any of them. Dietra Caldwell is second on the team at 9.3 points per game and unlike Brown, Caldwell has started all 11 games and is the only player to do so. The Miners have a quartet of players averaging between 7.9 and 8.9 points per game.

The Miners are averaging 72.2 points per game and allowing just 63.6 points per game. They shoot the three ball well as a team hitting 36.8 percent of their attempts and hold a +7.4 rebounding advantage per game which is something the Aggies have struggled a bit with at a -5.3 RPG margin.

The keys to today's game will be to get off to a good start in both the first and second half and avoid the offensive drought that has plagued them this season. The Aggies have dug themselves double-digit deficits in all their losses. They've also made big runs in the middle of the second half to make a game of it. If they can avoid the large deficit, that scoring run could finally propel them to victory.

Today's game will be available on AggieVision with radio coverage also available on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces. Streaming audio and video will be available via Aggie Access (subscription required). ESPN3.com will also provide streaming video.

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The Daily Aggie :: 01/01/11

Happy New Year Aggie fans! Unfortunately 2010 did not end the way anyone hoped it would. The Aggies lost on the road at Boise State 81-78 after leading the first 36 minutes of the game. Unfortunately for Aggie fans, it was a familiar feeling but we'll get into that in a bit.

We talked yesterday about Boise State's Jekyll and Hyde defense and it showed again last night. This time it was a bad first half followed by a good second half as the Aggies shot 69.6 percent in the first half but just 37.5 percent in the second half.

The Aggies struggled in the final 2:00 of the game committing three straight turnovers after tying the game at 72.

Despite the loss it's still a good road split and the Aggies have the exact same conference record after two games (1-1) as last year's NCAA tournament team did. The Aggies have a three-game homestand and all three will be tough games and the next five games will say a lot about where the Aggies will finish in conference play. The three upcoming games at home are against Fresno State (1-0), Hawai'i (0-2 but much improved) and San Jose State (also 0-2 but played their first two on the road and have the best scorer in the league in Adrian Oliver). After that the Aggies head to Nevada and to Utah State. If the Aggies can survive that stretch and come away with a 3-2 or 4-1 record, they'll be in great shape heading into the final two months of the season with six of their final 10 games at home (including a Bracketbusters game).

We mentioned in the opening that yesterday's loss was a familiar feeling for Aggie fans. For all the highs of 2010 (a WAC men's basketball tournament title, a WNIT trip, another WAC men's golf title, another individual cross country title for Courtney Schultz), 2010 was marred by tough losses where the Aggies gave up late leads and also injuries. The Aggies were relatively healthy to start 2010 but the fall 2010 season was unlike any other we can remember in Aggie sports in terms of injuries. Nearly every team that took the field/court in the fall/winter of 2010 had to deal with injuries to key players.

Aggie football lost several offensive linemen for the season, lost starting quarterback Matt Christian for several games, saw injuries to Kenny Turner and Seth Smith and lost a projected starting safety before the season even began. Those are just the ones we can remember off the top of our head.

Aggie soccer played without Crystal Burns for a couple of games, Burns is one of the best players on the Aggie squad and definitely one of the biggest scoring threats the Aggies have. They also lost starting goal keeper Mikaela Bitner for a good chunk of conference play (to a concussion if we remember correctly).

The Aggie men's cross country team ran without their leader, Ian Ruybalid who suffered a stress fracture and did not compete for the Aggies the majority of the season. Had Ruybalid been healthy the Aggie very well may have hoisted their first WAC championship on the men's side as they finished second to Boise State this year.

Aggie volleyball saw outside hitter Stephanie Ziegler go out with a season-ending foot injury just six matches into the season. The Aggies were 5-1 when Ziegler went down and they would struggle to find a replacement at the second outside hitter spot the rest of the season. The Aggies also middle blocker Kelsey Brennan miss time with an ankle injury (going down in the match against Pepperdine, a match that they likely would have won had she not been injured in the first set). They also lost libero Ellen Miks midway through conference play to a concussion. Miks never returned to action after suffering the concussion. Aggie freshman Amanda Tonga also suffered a shoulder injury and was limited in her effectiveness.

Aggie women's basketball lost Madison Spence for just over a month after she suffered a concussion. The Aggies went 3-2 without Spence in the lineup and even though she has returned, she has not yet returned to the high level of play that she was at prior to her concussion. The Aggies have also played without Kelsie Rozendaal for the first 13 games of the season, Rozendaal is a glue player for the Aggies and one of those kids that often times goes unnoticed in the box score but does all the little things that helps teams win games. The Aggies have also lost Camila Rosen for the season after she suffered a season-ending ACL injury. Senior guard Danisha Corbett is also hampered by an MCL sprain which limits her explosiveness.

And of course the Aggie men's basketball team has been hamstrung by injuries as Wendell McKines has not played at all this season after suffering a broken foot in the first week of practice. Troy Gillenwater and Hamidu Rahman both missed significant time with injuries and Gordo Castillo also missed a game with an ankle sprain.

Update: We completely forgot to mention Aggie baseball losing their top two hitters for extended periods of time. Catcher Ben Harty at the time of his wrist injury was absolutely crushing the baseball, hitting over .400 and the team's home run leader at the time. The Aggies also lost Mike Sodders, a First Team All-American, was also playing very very well at the time of his injury.

You'd be hard-pressed to find another school that has endured as many injuries to key components as the Aggies did in 2010.

The second part of the story in 2010 was heartbreaking losses, many of them ending Aggie seasons.

Obviously the one that sticks out in everyone's mind is the men's basketball team's 70-67 loss to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament but there were several other tough losses to swallow in 2010. The Aggie softball team lost 4-3 on a walk-off home run in the 8th inning against Fresno State after rallying to tie the game with home runs in the sixth and seventh innings. We'll get back to softball in a second.

The Aggie volleyball team lost in five at New Mexico after taking a 2-1 lead in the match, they lost in five at LSU after rallying to win sets three and four (after getting dominated in sets one and two). But the toughest loss of the season came against Utah State in the WAC Tournament semifinals as they held a 13-10 lead in set five and lost 16-14 ending their season (a bit of the sting from that loss was take away since Utah State would go on to win the WAC tournament in stunning fashion over heavily favored Hawai'i).

The Aggie football team had a 20-17 lead at Utah State with 9:29 left to play but lost 27-22. The Aggies jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first half of the game but could not hold on. This was a disappointing loss for the Aggies but after coming from behind to beat New Mexico AND San Jose State "at the buzzer", sports has a funny way of evening things out. Call this loss penance for those two exciting come-from-behind wins.

Okay, we can all agree that those were all heartbreaking losses. However, no two Aggie teams suffered devastating losses quite like the Aggie baseball and softball teams did in 2010, particularly in the postseason.

The Aggie baseball team lost twice late in the regular season in walk-off fashion. The Aggies held an 8-3 lead over Hawai'i but lost in the 10th inning on a walk-off home single. Four nights later the Aggies lost 9-8 in the 11th inning on a walk-off home run at USC. This coming after the Aggies had scored rive runs in the top of the 7th inning to erase an 8-3 deficit. And the most devastating loss of the season came in the final game of the season as the Aggies led Nevada 4-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning and had for the most part dominated the game. Nevada's Cullen Mahoney hit a pinch-hit two run walk-off homer to send the Aggies into the offseason, 5-4.

Those were all tough losses, no doubt. But nothing, absolutely nothing compares to the heartbreak the Aggie softball team suffered in 2010. After a disappointing conference season in which they had to win six of their final seven games just to make the WAC tournament, which was being held in Las Cruces, the Aggies jumped out to an 8-0 lead on Boise State only to see the Broncos rally to score nine unanswered over the next four and a half innings to send the Aggies to the losers bracket.

The next day the Aggies jumped out to a 6-0 lead on San Jose State. The Spartans rallied to take a 7-6 lead heading into the sixth inning. The Aggies scored two runs to take an 8-7 lead but the Spartans scored two in the bottom of the sixth to take a 9-8 lead. The Aggies ended the season losing an eight run lead and a six run lead.

With all the injuries and heartbreaking losses in 2010, the Aggies are due for some good fortune. Here's hoping that 2011 will bring better health and better results for the Aggies.

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Aggies Lose Lead Late; Fall 81-78 At Boise State

The New Mexico State men's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker against Boise State on New Year's Eve falling 81-78. The Aggies shot 69.6 percent from the field in the first half hitting 8-of-12 three point shots including a halfcourt buzzer beater by Troy Gillenwater but held just a six point lead over the Broncos at the break.

The Aggies would maintain a slim margin throughout the second half but the Broncos would take their first lead of the game at 68-67 with 4:09 left to play as Robert Arnold hit a three pointer. After an Aggie turnover on their ensuing possession, the Broncos would turn the ball over under their basket with Hernst Laroche coming away with the steal, however, Boise State's La'Shard Anderson would appear to knock over Laroche creating a turnover which he would take in for a layup to give the Broncos a 70-67 lead with 3:17 left to play in the game. Laroche would answer with a three pointer to tie the game at 70 with 2:47 left. Boise State would retake the lead as Anderson would hit a jumper with 2:17 left in the game but Hamidu Rahman would knot the score at 72 with a short jumper in front of the rim with 1:55 left to play.

Troy Gillenwater would be stripped going up for a jump shot and foul Boise State's Paul Noonan who would hit a pair of free throws to give the Broncos a 74-72 lead with 1:02 left to play. On the ensuing inbounds play, the Broncos would trap Christian Kabongo near the sideline and he would step out of bounds giving the ball back to the Broncos. Daequon Montreal would hit a short jumper and get fouled with 57 seconds left. Montreal converted the three point play giving the Broncos a 77-72 lead which the Aggies would not be able to overcome in the final minute of play.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 12/31/10

The Aggie women's basketball team dropped another heartbreaker last night losing 65-60 to the Lobos in Albuquerque. The pattern was a familiar one, the Aggies played close early, got down by double-digits in the second half, put on a furious rally late only to come up short in the end. It had been the story for the Aggies the previous three games and last night it was no different. This time the Aggies actually took a two point lead with just over two minutes left but could not hang on.

The Aggies are playing well on defense but they just can't seem to be able to string together enough stops at the end to pull off the win.

Danisha Corbett returned from injury to play last night to score eight points and Jasmine Lowe had arguably her best game of the season scoring 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

The one area the Aggies did not do well last night was free throw shooting. The Aggies hit just 8-of-15 free throw attempts (all 15 attempts coming in the second half) and are a team that is a very good free throw shooting team normally hitting over 70 percent of their tries.

The Aggies are back in action on Sunday against UTEP as they wrap up non-conference play.

The Aggie men's basketball team wraps up their first conference road trip today as they face Boise State. The Aggies and Broncos have had some very competitive games during the Coach Menzies era with the Aggies holding a slight 5-3 edge in the series including an 88-85 and 95-92 victory last year.

This season the Broncos are under the direction of first-year head coach Leon Rice who has the Broncos playing very competitively. They are 8-5 overall and 1-0 in league play.

Yesterday we mentioned the Jekyll and Hyde play of the Bronco defense from half to half. In several of Boise State's games there have been instances where they have played outstanding first half defense only to see their defense completely evaporate in the second half. Against UC-Davis, BSU held the Aggies to 29.6 percent shooting in the first half but allowed 60.7 percent shooting in the second half. Long Beach State could only muster 37.5 percent shooting in the first half but hit 51.9 percent in the second half. Drake hit 37 percent in the first half and then torched the Broncos for 72.7 percent in the second half. UT-Pan American hit just 30.4 percent in the first half and then 63.6 percent in the second half and Louisiana Tech hit just 20 percent in the first half but exploded for 55.6 percent in the second half.

There is definitely a trend there with the Broncos. If the Aggies can hang close in the first half, they should be able to find much better success in the second half.

Obviously, that trend has not been the case in every game, in some of the games the opposing team just shoots well the entire game (in the mid 40 percent range or higher in some cases).

Even though the Broncos are allowing just 63.7 points per game while scoring 74.6 points per game, we expect this game to be a high scoring shootout as most of the Aggie/Bronco games have been.

The scoring matchup to watch tonight will be Troy Gillenwater versus Boise State's Robert Arnold. Arnold is the second leading scorer in the WAC averaging 15.8 points per game. However, the last time these two teams met, Arnold lit up the Aggies for 35 points, 15 rebounds and five assists.

Today's game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. (MT) tipoff with radio coverage via the Aggie Sports Network. Streaming audio will also be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

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Aggie Women Fall Short At New Mexico 65-60

Jasmine Lowe scored a team-high 17 points and Madison Spence added 14 points but it was not enough as the Aggies fell to New Mexico 65-58 on Thursday night. New Mexico State trailed by 11 at halftime but rallied to take a 56-54 lead late in the game after a three pointer from Jasmine Lowe but a Lobo three by Jessica Kielpinski gave New Mexico the lead on the next possession and the Aggies would be unable to retake the lead in the final two minutes.

Both teams would start out cold shooting from the floor as the Lobos took a 9-6 lead into the first media timeout. However, over the next four minutes both teams would combine for just two baskets as New Mexico maintained a three point lead, 11-8 with 10:59 left in the half. The Aggies would stay close and trailed 17-15 with six and a half minutes left in the half but the Lobos would go on a 13-2 run to extend the lead out to 30-17 with 1:36 left in the half. After a layup by Danisha Corbett cut the Lobos lead to 30-19 with 47 seconds left before halftime, UNM's Morgan Toben would bury a three to give the Lobos their largest lead of the game at 33-19. Kaitlyn Soto would hit a three pointer to cut the lead back to 11 and the Aggies would head into the break down 33-22.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 12/30/10

Six straight wins in conference openers. That's the current number the Aggie men have rung up after last night's 74-69 win in Moscow over the Vandals. The Aggies welcomed back Troy Gillenwater and Hamidu Rahman to the court and Gillenwater did not disappoint scoring 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting. The Aggies struggled offensively in the first half hitting just 9-of-31 shot attempts but rebounded in the second half for 63 percent shooting hitting 17-of-27 attempts. It was an exciting game with the largest lead by Idaho at four points and the largest lead by the Aggies at eight points. The game was within one or two possessions all night long and the game saw 17 lead changes in the first 32 minutes before the Aggies finally took control of the game for good after a three point play by Troy Gillenwater that put the Aggies up 54-53.

The Aggies did well against Idaho's three point shooting as they hit just 4-of-14 attempts (28.6 percent). Three point defense has been a bit of a problem for the Aggies through the past few seasons but they did well against the second best three point shooting team in the league last night.

Two players who played outstandingly last night were Tyrone Watson and Hernst Laroche. Watson's hustle plays all night long helped the Aggies extend possessions as he finished with six rebounds but five were on the offensive end. He also chipped in 12 big points. Laroche finished with 12 points, six assists, no turnovers, a block, two rebounds and two steals in 34 minutes of play.

Up next for the Aggies is Boise State on New Year's Eve. The Broncos defeated Louisiana Tech 71-60 but this game was all but over after 30 minutes. Boise State jumped out to a 17-2 lead, led 36-14 at halftime and led by 20 with six and a half minutes left to play. The final score of this one was not indicative of how much of a blowout this game was. The Broncos are not a team to be taken lightly this season. If there is one concern for Leon Rice and his coaching staff it's the Jekyll and Hyde defensive performances by his teams not just from game to game but from half to half. We'll have more on that in tomorrow's Daily Aggie.

There were two other WAC games last night as Hawai'i went into Logan and despite losing, proved that they too are a team not to be taken lightly this year. The Warriors went blow-for-blow with USU all night long before losing by eight, the game was much closer than the eight point final margin.

And Fresno State pulled off an upset of San Jose State last night winning rather convincingly 75-62. The Bulldogs did a fantastic job defensively on the WAC's leading scorer, Adrian Oliver, who finished with just 15 points, nine below his average. They also stifled Justin Graham who finished with just three points on 1-of-10 shooting. Graham averages nearly 16 points per game.

Fresno State's Greg Smith must've read all the bad press he's been getting after a poor non-conference showing as he broke out for 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists, a block and two steals. That's the kind of performance most people thought he'd have all year. No better time than conference play to start.

The Aggie women's basketball team is back in action tonight as they battle New Mexico in The Pit. The Aggies have not win in Albuquerque since 1995. Both teams are mired in losing streaks as the Aggies have dropped three in a row while the Lobos have dropped four in a row.

We mentioned after the first game between these two teams that UNM looked just ordinary. This is a great opportunity for the Aggies to win in Albuquerque. Unfortunately for the Aggies they will once again be playing short-handed against the Lobos. In the first meeting the Aggies were without point guard Madison Spence and tonight they'll be playing without Camila Rosen who is done for the season after tearing her ACL. They're also playing without senior guard Danisha Corbett who is out for a couple of games after suffering a knee injury in the same game that they lost Rosen (the loss against Utah).

The Aggies will need big contributions tonight from Tabytha Wampler, Kaitlyn Soto and their freshmen duo of Jasmine Rutledge and Andrea Chenier and of course a good game from Madison Spence in her final game in The Pit.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff with radio coverage available in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski calling the action. Streaming audio will also be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

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Gillenwater Scores 22 In Return; Aggies Open WAC Play With 74-69 Victory At Idaho

The Aggie men's basketball team opened up conference play with a 74-69 victory against Idaho in Moscow on Wednesday night as Troy Gillenwater and Hamidu Rahman returned from injury. Gillenwater scored 22 points in the game and celebrated his birthday with a victory. For the Aggies it marked the sixth straight season the Aggies have opened conference play with a win.

The first half was a game of runs as the Aggies started the game on a 9-0 after Idaho had scored the first basket. Idaho responded with a 15-2 run to take a 17-13 lead. After the Aggies tied the game at 17, Idaho would go on a 7-3 run to take a 24-20 lead. The Aggies would respond with a 5-0 run to take a 25-24 lead. The Aggies would extend the lead out to five points at 29-24 but the Vandals would finish the half on a 7-0 run to take a 31-29 lead at the break.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 12/29/10

The Aggie men's basketball team opens up conference play tonight in Moscow as they take on the Vandals. New Mexico State heads into conference play at 6-8 overall (4-8 against Division I opponents) but as Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News points out, the Aggies have flourished under head coach Marvin Menzies in conference play. Menzies' record against the WAC is an outstanding 32-16 in conference play in three seasons. His first season the Aggies tied for the regular season title but lost in the WAC title game in triple overtime, the Aggies slipped a little in his second year getting bounced in the semifinals against eventual tournament champion Utah State and of course last season the Aggies won the tournament title by ending Utah State's 17-game winning streak.

The Vandals are a bit of an enigmatic team this season. On one hand they've beaten Oregon in Eugene, one of two WAC teams to do so this season (SJSU being the other), but on the other hand they turned in an absolute abomination of a basketball game against Montana in Missoula losing 75-33 and it wasn't even that close (seriously).

Coming into tonight's matchup the Vandals are averaging a league-worst 64.4 points per game, they are however, only giving up 66.0 points per game.

One area that could give the Aggies trouble is Idaho's three point shooting. The Vandals are the WAC's second best three point shooting team which should come as no surprise considering Don Verlin is a Stew Morrill disciple and the UtAgs are always one of the best three point shooting teams.

The Vandals also share the ball well averaging 13.4 assists per game, second in the league behind Utah State. Again, something that should be no surprise considering the head coach's lineage.

Individually, Deremy Geiger leads the Vandals averaging 10.7 points per game. Shawn Henderson leads the Vandals in rebounds averaging 6.4 RPG.

The Vandals want to keep this game in the low to mid-60s while the Aggies want this game somewhere in the 70s. Whichever team is able to force the tempo will likely come out of this game with the win.

For the Aggies it's a chance to erase the bad taste left in their mouths from the St. Mary's loss. For Idaho, it's a chance to build on the momentum that their victory over Oregon gave them.

Tonight's game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. (MT) tipoff. Live Stats will be available via the Idaho athletic website. The game can be heard on the Aggie Sports Network with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

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