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.

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

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 >>

The Daily Aggie :: 11/29/10

The latest domino in the conference expansion fell this morning and as expected, TCU announced that they have accepted an invitation to join the Big East. The somewhat unexpected was that they will be joining for all sports (there was speculation that the invitation would be for football only).

What does this mean for the WAC? Your guess is as good as ours. There is still the matter pending regarding Hawai'i joining the Mountain West for football and the Big West for all other sports. That move would leave the WAC with just six football playing schools starting in 2012 and eight schools for men's and women's basketball and volleyball, six for softball and seven for baseball.

The question becomes, does the Mountain West raid the WAC cupboard yet again? And if they do, who would they invite and if the WAC does lose more teams to the MWC, who does the WAC replace them with? Does the WAC become a non-football playing conference? The WAC is already on pretty shaky ground with just seven (six if UH leaves) football playing schools.

Seattle, Utah Valley, Houston Baptist and UT-Pan American are all four non-football playing schools that could need conferences starting in 2012. Seattle is an independent and the other three are members of the Great West Conference (which is on life support following the Big Sky raid, they are losing five of their 10 members, four to the Big Sky, sounds familiar right?) and their remaining membership looks like this: Chicago St., Houston Baptist, Utah Valley, UT-Pan American and NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) and according to Kyle Whelliston of the Mid-Majority and the Basketball Prospectus, those remaining schools are only contractually bound to the GWC until next summer. Three of those five schools fit the "geographic footprint" that is so fondly mentioned by WAC Commissioner Karl Benson. Adding three of the four (Seattle, UVU, HBU, UTPA) would give the WAC the much desired 10 basketball members of course, that's assuming nobody else besides Hawai'i leaves the WAC. Will any of this happens? Who knows. Stay tuned.

Finally, we'll leave you with this excerpt from a rare blog bet won by Pistol Whipping The WAC over at One Bronco Nation Under God.

But what I respect most about Boise State is their fan support. They understand what it takes to build up a national football program better than most fan bases I've encountered. For lack of a better term, they "get it." They know that a team can't climb to the top if its fans sit at home and whine about how much better things could be if such-and-such were different. They do the little things that are so important: travel in big numbers to away games, and interact with the fans who come to their games with the aim of persuading them to come back again. That's why I've been to Boise three times to cheer for the Pack and why I will look forward to many more visits in the coming Mountain West years (hopefully with better final scores than my last two have had). As Gandhi once said, they became the change they wanted to see, and I know I feel motivated to be the best fan I can be thanks in part to theirs.

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

The Daily Aggie :: 11/28/10

The fall portion of the 2010-2011 athletic schedule has come to a close as the Aggie football team lost 59-24 yesterday to Hawai'i. The Warriors earned at least a share of the WAC crown as Boise State (6-1) and Nevada (6-1) still play Utah State and Louisiana Tech respectively. Should those two teams lose those games, and anything is possible. Who knows how Boise State will respond to the BCS-dream crushing loss and who knows how Nevada will respond after pulling off one of the biggest upsets of the year.

For the Aggies it's the end of year two for head coach DeWayne Walker's club. The Aggies started off the season very slowly both offensively and defensively but really started to show some progress in the middle of the season picking up a win over San Jose State in which the Aggies played one of their best offensive games in two years. The Aggie offense has some momentum heading into the 2011 season. After scoring 20-plus points in just one of the first seven games, the Aggies scored 20-plus points in four of the last five games and had legitimate chances to win three of those five games.

The Aggie secondary loses a big piece with the graduation of Davon House who in his final game as an Aggie had an interception that he returned for 48 yards as well as safety Alphonso Powell. The Aggie offense loses running back Seth Smith but returns Kenny Turner and Robert Clay as well as quarterbacks Matt Christian and Andrew Manley and nearly every wide receiver however there are bigger concerns for Coach Walker than just the who the returners are on the field.

Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Coach Walker feels that New Mexico State needs to evaluate their commitment to the football program citing the need for a better recruiting budget, higher pay for assistants and additional strength and conditioning coaches just for starters.

It will be an interesting offseason for sure as the Aggies head into year three of the Coach Walker era.

The Aggie women's basketball team won the Thanksgiving Classic by defeating Northern Iowa last night by a final score of 72-63. The Aggies have now won two straight without senior point guard Madison Spence who is out with a concussion. Tabytha Wampler has stepped up for the Aggies and is averaging a double-double at 12.9 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Wampler had a career-high 18 rebounds last night against Northern Iowa and also had 14 point and five assists as she helped the Aggies erase a 12 point deficit.

The Aggies face in-state rival New Mexico on Wednesday night in the Pan Am.

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

NM State vs. Northern Iowa Game Photos

NM State vs. Northern Iowa Game Photos

Aggies Defeat Northern Iowa 72-63; Spence Notches 100th Victory As NM State Head Coach

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

Tabytha WamplerLAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State women's basketball head coach Darin Spence earned his 100th victory as the Aggie general when NM State defeated Northern Iowa 72-63 at the Pan American Center on Saturday night to clinch the Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic Championship.

The Aggies used an early second-half run to take the lead and never relinquished it, leading by as many as 11 before UNI closed the gap to two at 62-60 with under four minutes remaining. NM State held the Panthers off as junior forward Tabytha Wampler scored six of her 14 points over the final 3:30 of the game.

Wampler posted her third double-double of the season and fifth of her career with a career-high 18 rebounds to go with her 14 tallies. Meanwhile, the senior guard tandem of Danisha Corbett and Jasmine Lowe each scored a game-high 17 points in the win.

Senior point guard Madison Spence did not dress for the second straight game Saturday as junior Kaitlyn Soto made her second start of the season. Spence is day-to-day but improving with another formal evaluation scheduled for Sunday. Sophomore guard Camila Rosen earned her first start of the season as the Aggies started four guards and a forward against UNI.

NM State shot 51 percent in the game and held UNI to just 38 percent from the field. The Aggies out-rebounded the Panthers 36-31 in the contest. Each team finished with 15 turnovers.  Continue Reading This Post >>

NM State vs. Hawai'i Game Photos

NM State vs. Hawai'i Game Photos