bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Menzies Interview :: 12/02/10

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the team's play on Tuesday night playing without Hamidu you were still right in the game at the end.
Marvin Menzies: Playing without Ham I was really concerned about the center position and not having a lot of depth there but B.J. West came in and gave us quality minutes. Abdoulaye came in and gave us good minutes. So we were doing okay, probably not as productive as we could have been with Hamidu but nonetheless we were in a battle and we just ran into a buzzsaw named Randy Culpepper once again. It seems like they've always got one guy, no matter who we lace them up with they have that one guy that really does a good job against us and that was the case again.

bc.net: The Aggies had a big rebounding advantage in both games.
MM: I felt it was a big sticking point for us. We talked about it a lot and practiced on it a lot trying to improve our rebounding based on our road losses and we added some drills and emphasis in practice and I'm glad to see they responded. We just didn't get it done in two other statistical categories in terms of our three point defense and the final score.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 12/02/10

The Aggie women's basketball team lost last night 58-49 to New Mexico. The Aggies were within two points midway through the second half but just couldn't find the bottom of the bucket. They only scored four baskets in the second half and when that happens, you're not going to beat many teams.

We will say that this is probably the worst New Mexico team we've seen in the last 10 years and that's not meant to be disrespectful to the Lobos. They're usually a high-caliber basketball team but last night they looked ordinary.

Had the Aggies been able to hit shots last night, the Aggies would have won that game. The Aggies struggled without Madison out there and the three guards that are trying to pick up the slack simply did not have it last night. Jasmine Lowe went 1-of-7 from the field and finished with just three points. She averages over 15 per game. Kaitlyn Soto went scoreless on an 0-for-5 night. She usually is good for four or five points. Andrea Chenier, a true freshman, hit two free throws but was 0-for-3 from the floor.

It was not all gloom and doom for the Aggies last night. Danisha Corbett tied a career-high with 22 points and the Aggie defense forced 23 UNM turnovers. Unfortunately for Corbett, she didn't have much help and the Aggies also committed 20 turnovers.

This is definitely one of those games where we can honestly say the Aggies beat themselves. The Aggies are back in action on Sunday when they take on Cal State-Northridge.

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NM State vs. UNM Game Photos

NM State vs. UNM Game Photos
NM State vs. UNM Game Photos

Corbett Scores Career-High 22 Points But Aggies Fall To New Mexico 58-49

Danisha CorbettTim Barnett-Queen's Game Photos
Rich Chavez's Game Photos

The New Mexico State women's basketball fell to in-state rival New Mexico 58-49. The Aggies trailed by just three points at 47-44 with 8:32 left to play but would only score five points the rest of the game. Danisha Corbett scored a career-high 22 points hitting five three point shots.

The Aggies hit the game's first basket as Corbett hit the first of her five three pointers to give the Aggies a 3-0 lead. The Lobos would get a basket from Tina Doughty to make the game 3-2 with 18:38 left in the first quarter. The two teams would struggle offensively with each scoring just eight points through the first six and a half minutes. Lauren Taylor would hit a three pointer for UNM to put them ahead 11-8 with 13:34 left to play in the half but the Aggies would go on an 8-0 run to take a 16-11 lead with 11:28 left in the half. The Aggies would hold a 22-19 lead with 5:48 left to play in the half after Andrea Chenier hit a pair of free throws.

New Mexico would take a one point lead at 29-28 after a layup by Jasmine Patterson but Danisha Corbett would answer with 39 seconds left to give the Aggies a 30-29 lead at the half.

The Aggies would start off the second half with a three pointer to take a 33-29 lead but New Mexico would go on a 6-0 run to take a 35-33 lead. The Aggies would get the lead back as Danisha Corbett hit another three to give the Aggies a 36-35 lead. The Lobos would take the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Lauren Taylor with 12:31 left. After an Aggie miss, Jourdan Erksine would get a layup to put the Lobos ahead 41-38. The lead would swell to seven points after a Jessica Kielpinski jumper gave the Lobos a 46-39 lead. The Aggies would answer with a 5-0 run to cut the deficit down to two potions at 46-44 with 10:08 left to play.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 12/01/10

Rivalry week did not get off to the best of starts as the Aggie men's basketball team lost 74-72 last night to UTEP. The Aggies lost the lead for good thanks in large part to short stretch where the two teams were tied at 30 but Troy Gillenwater was called for a technical foul and Abdoulaye N'doye was called for an intentional foul which UTEP turned into a four point trip to take a six point lead. Despite that sequence and Randy Culpepper lighting up the Aggies for 25 first half points, the Aggies trailed by just five points at halftime. After falling behind by a dozen, the Aggies made a game of it late and closed to within two points. Unfortunately, missed free throws and missed layups plagued the Aggies all night long. The Aggies hit just 8-of-14 free throws in the first half and 7-of-12 in the second half and shot just 57.7 percent for the game. The Aggies also missed 13 layups in the game that's 26 points missed on layups and nine points missed from the free throw line, 35 points left out on the court.

The Aggies also out-rebounded UTEP by 13 in this game and in the two games combined they have out-rebounded UTEP by 34... and still lost both. It's not often you'll see that kind of dominance on the boards by the team that loses both games.

That being said, the Aggies were playing short-handed last night as Hamidu Rahman is out with a calf injury and despite 32 points from UTEP's Randy Culpepper (thank goodness he's a senior), the Aggies lost by just two points. The Aggies have little time to reflect on this loss with a very good New Mexico team coming into the Pan Am on Saturday night.

On an aside, two of the best three teams from the WAC last year, New Mexico State and Nevada, are both mired in five game losing streaks.

The Aggie women's basketball team hosts I-25 rival New Mexico tonight in the Pan Am. The Lobos are 3-2 on the season while the Aggies are 5-2 on the season. It's rare when the Aggies enter this matchup with a better overall record. It's the first road game of the year for New Mexico. It's a chance for the Aggies to notch their second win over UNM in a series that has been dominated by the Lobos.

The Aggies will be playing without Madison Spence who is still out after suffering a concussion. The Aggies will rely heavily on senior guards Danisha Corbett and Jasmine Lowe and it will be absolutely critical that junior forward Tabytha Wampler continue her outstanding play. If she can post numbers like she has in the past couple of games, the Aggies will have a great shot at winning tonight.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff and can be seen on AggieVision. Streaming video will also be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

Finally, NMSU President Dr. Barbara Couture addresses the budget challenges at New Mexico State University (as a whole) and addresses the budget transfers from the general fund to athletics which remains well below the national average.

Considering all universities with Division I athletics programs, 103 out of more than 120 use budget transfers like we do to support their athletics programs. On a national level, universities transfer an average of $10.2 million to athletics programs. NMSU, in fiscal year 2011, transferred $4.1 million, well below the average. The fact is that the vast majority of athletics programs like ours require some support from instruction and general budgets. If we look at that budget transfer in light of our overall university budget, our total athletics budget as reported to the state is $16 million, just 2 percent of our total university budget (all sources, all campuses) of $682 million. The $4.1 million transfer is less than 1 percent of that total. Yet the athletics program supports 425 student athletes whose graduation rates are 20 percent better than our overall student population, who represent greater diversity than the general student population, and who through their performance on courts and fields provide a solid connection to NMSU for our alumni and friends. That connection also played a significant role in our success in raising $256 million for NMSU's first capital campaign, exceeding our goal by more than $30 million.

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NM State vs. UTEP Game Photos

NM State vs. UTEP Game Photos

Aggie Men's Basketball Loses 74-72 To UTEP As Second Half Rally Falls Just Short

Tyrone WatsonThe New Mexico State men's basketball team's second half rally fell just short on Tuesday night as they lost 74-72 to rival UTEP. The Miners sweep the season series after winning 73-56 in El Paso one week ago.

The Aggies and Miners traded the lead back and forth in the first half until the 5:43 mark when Troy Gillenwater was called for a technical foul with the teams tied at 30. Randy Culpepper hit both free throws to give the Miners a 32-30 and they would not trail the remainder of the game. Just seconds later the Miners would get a steal by Randy Culpepper who was fouled hard by Abdoulaye N'doye as Culpepper attempted a dunk on the fast break. N'Doye's foul was called intentional giving the Miners two free throws and the ball which they turned into four points and a six point lead at 36-30 with 4:35 left in the half.

Randy Culpepper scored 25 of his 32 points in the first half including 14 straight and 16 of UTEP's final 20 points to send the Aggies into halftime trailing 40-35.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 11/30/10

It's rivalry week for Aggie basketball as the men's team hosts UTEP tonight and UNM on Saturday night while the women's team hosts UNM tomorrow night. The Aggie men lost the first game of the UTEP series a week ago by 17 points as UTEP hit 12 three pointers to offset a 21 rebound advantage for the Aggies.

The first matchup saw UTEP's Christian Polk do the bulk of the damage scoring 25 of the Miners' 73 points. The Aggies did a reasonably good job on Randy Culpepper as he finished with just 15 points on the night finishing 5-of-16 from the floor.

The Aggie only had two players in double figures, Troy Gillenwater (18 points, 14 rebounds) and Hernst Laroche (11 points) and will need to get more production from their other players. Gordo Castillo needs to get moving on the offensive end. Scoring just eight points against UTEP and just seven per game isn't what we envisioned for Castillo entering his final season on a team that lost two premiere scorers. Gordo is hitting for a high percentage from the field, 11-of-25 from three point distance (44 percent) and 15-of-35 overall (42.9 percent), he just needs to be more involved (he's averaging just under six shots per game) and he probably needs to be taking eight to 10 shots per game. If his attempts increased and his conversion rate stayed the same, he'd be averaging around 12 or 13 points per game instead of the seven he's averaging now and as the team's designated three point shooter, that opens up a lot of options for the players around him, particularly Troy Gillenwater and Hamidu Rahman on the inside (Hamidu is averaging just 6.5 shots per game as well).

This is a critical game for the Aggies with these three games coming against UTEP and UNM twice. UNM is a very good team once again and the Aggies need to come out of the I-10/I-25 rivalry series with a 2-2 record at the very least. There are still plenty of chances to enhance their at-large resume (these three rivalry games plus the games against Pacific and St. Mary's) but double-digit losses in the non-conference will not help their cause.

This is about the time last year that the Aggies made their run in the non-conference. The win against UTEP spurred them to a winning non-conference record. With eight non-conference games left a 6-2 record in that stretch should be the goal (7-1 would be better, 8-0 would be outstanding). Only one of the next eight games are on the road that being at New Mexico which as we know is a place the Aggies have struggled mightily the past few years.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off and can be seen on AggieVision as well as streaming online on ESPN3.com. Radio coverage is available via the Aggie Sports Network with Jack Nixon calling the action.

Finally, for those of you still trying to figure out how Dallas could be considered East enough to allow TCU to be in the Big East we leave you with this parting thought courtesy of Dave Lozo a writer for NHL.com:

TCU's average distance from each campus in the Mountain West is 1,011. The number goes up to 1,287 in the Big East. I think TCU will be OK.

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bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Spence Interview :: 11/29/10

bleedCrimson.net: You picked up three good wins last week against Western New Mexico, Alcorn State and Northern Iowa and Tabytha Wampler has been playing very well.
Darin Spence: No question. We had a good stretch here. We had a real busy week playing three games in one week. Even though they were all home games, it was three very different opponents, a Division II (Western New Mexico), a very quick and athletic Alcorn State team and a physical, very well executed conference champion and NCAA tournament team in Northern Iowa. They were three big challenges. The first time to not play with Madison. It was another learning situation for our team not having her. I think the kids really buckled down and did some good things.

Tabytha, she's good and I've known she has the ability to be a high level player here and it's now coming to the forefront and that's a positive for all of us.

bc.net: Your team responded very well in the two games that you played without Madison, you had a lead on Alcorn State and held on for the win after they made a big run and then you were down by 12 in the first half of the Northern Iowa game and came back to win that one holding them off in the second half as well.
DS: It's kind of interesting playing without your floor leader. Madison has been pretty good for us for a long time. So now all of the sudden, the game she got hurt, you're talking about a group of kids in her teammates that really feel like they got punched in the gut. You're seeing your teammate stagger off the floor like she took an overhand right from George Foreman. Mentally and emotionally that takes it toll on you and the kids did a good job of going back and refocusing and putting away the in-state Division II school. Those are always hard games to play. We like to keep some of the money in state and give it to those schools but they're really no-win situations for us. If you don't look good and you don't beat them by a lot then everybody says "What's wrong with you?"

Then Alcorn State is real feisty. I don't know why they didn't start pressing us earlier but it caused us some problems in the second half and human nature set in where we let down again but it was a good learning experience for Kaitlyn Soto for her to get in there and get some good quality minutes running the team and Andrea Chenier being a freshman, getting a good look. We had to hold on and make some free throws down the stretch. A year ago we would have gave that game away. Those are some that we just gave away but we held on and found a way to win.

Then the Northern Iowa game, I think our team really grew up because we had opportunities to give that one away too but we made some defensive stops down the stretch, made some free throws and got some big baskets and in a game like that I knew that if it was too close they were going to be right there when it was said and done just because they're a conference champion and an NCAA Tournament team and have good experience. It was just a good showing by our team and we've taken some steps forward.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Ellen Miks' Aggie Volleyball Diary :: November 29th, 2010

Ellen MiksHello Aggie Volleyball fans. Sorry I haven't updated this is a while, but as many may know I suffered a concussion that has been lingering around these past few weeks. Before the San Jose State game during our serve and pass, I was hit in the face with three balls and a fist! I guess I could never make it in the boxing world... However I am feeling much better now after a few weeks of some rest and relaxation.

The WAC Tournament... We are so happy that two teams from the WAC made it this year! We wish it would have been us instead of Hawaii and Utah State, but we fought until the end last Tuesday night. Utah State played great, the best anyone has seen them play, and they were even better when they swept Hawai'i the next night. It was a well-fought match and next year we hope the WAC is just as competitive as it was this year!

I wanted to give special thanks to all of the fans, boosters and families that came to support us in Vegas and that have supported us this entire season. We are nothing without the support and generosity of everyone and I just wanted to say thank you! Y’all are awesome and you are a main reason why Aggie Volleyball has been so successful. We are excited to come back in the spring, work and train hard during the season and then come back in the fall more rejuvenated than ever.  Continue Reading This Post >>