New Mexico State (9-8) at Idaho (6-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cowan Spectrum (7,000) -- Moscow, Idaho. Television: None. Home Record: NMSU 7-1, Idaho 3-3. Away Record: NMSU 2-6, Idaho 3-4. Neutral Record: NMSU 0-1, Idaho 0-1. Conference Record: NMSU 3-2, Idaho 2-2. Series Record: New Mexico State leads, 20-4.
GAME NOTES: While they may be a bit winded after playing a pair of overtime periods two nights ago, the New Mexico State Aggies are still ready to battle the Idaho Vandals in Western Athletic Conference action at the Cowan Spectrum.
The Aggies were at Key Arena on Thursday night aiming for their first three- game win streak of the season and were able to realize that goal, but not before having to play an additional 10 minutes against Seattle in an 83-82 final. The victory moved NMSU to 3-2 in conference play.
As for the Vandals, they are moving in the opposite direction at the moment with back-to-back defeats. Also hitting the hardwood two nights ago, Idaho was pitted against Denver at home and came away with a disappointing 55-49 loss, marking the team's lowest-scoring output of the campaign.
Even though both teams won on their home floors last season, NMSU still owns a commanding 20-4 advantage in the all-time series.
For their first multiple-overtime game since 2008, the Aggies came out on the winning side against Seattle on Thursday night, thanks in large part to Bandja Sy who not only scored 23 points, but he hit a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force the first overtime period. Sy shot just 6-of-11 at the free-throw line, but made up for it with nine rebounds, while Tyrone Watson and Daniel Mullings both scored in double figures with 26 and 19 points, respectively. Mullings filled his stat line with seven rebounds and seven steals, but he was also charged with seven of the team's 19 turnovers as well. Now with a team-best 36 thefts on the season, Mullings is also first with 15.3 ppg as he shooting 55.0 percent from the floor. Watson checks in with 10.8 ppg and a team-best 51 assists, while Sy (9.7 ppg) is tops on the glass with almost seven rebounds per game.
After nearly knocking off Utah State five days earlier, the Vandals were stymied by Denver at the Cowan Spectrum on Thursday as they scored a mere 49 points. Stephen Madison was responsible for a game-high 19 points and Connor Hill contributed 12 as he knocked down 3-of-6 behind the 3-point line, which means the rest of the unit combined for only 20 points. Over the course of 40 minutes, Idaho got off only 35 field goal attempts, making 17, which means the Vandals ended up with more turnovers (18) than conversions from the floor. Kyle Barone was credited with only five points and six boards, not to mention six turnovers, which is rather disappointing considering he is first on the team in both scoring (14.8 ppg) and rebounding (10.0 rpg) in conference games thus far. Madison (13.5 ppg) is also a key contributor on offense versus WAC foes, although his 2-of-15 shooting out on the perimeter has to be a concern.
The Aggies might be a tired bunch, but chances are they still have enough offensive firepower to take care of Idaho, even on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico State 75, Idaho 63
01/12 10:44:08 ET