Cal State Bakersfield (13-18) vs. New Mexico State (24-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 11:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (7,471) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Bakersfield 6-7, NMSU 14-1. Away Record: Bakersfield 5-10, NMSU 8-7. Neutral Record: Bakersfield 2-1, NMSU 2-1. Conference Record: Bakersfield 5-11, NMSU 11-4. Series Record: New Mexico State leads, 6-0.
GAME NOTES: The Roadrunners of Cal State Bakersfield shoot for their first- ever win against the New Mexico State Aggies, as the teams collide in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Bakersfield, the sixth seed in this year's tournament, closed out the regular season by dropping four straight outings, one of those being a 73-68 setback to Chicago State on the road. However, the Roadrunners rebounded nicely on Thursday night as they took down the Cougars from the Windy City in a 68-62 final in order to advance to the next round.
As for the second-seeded Aggies, winners of this event a total of four times, they managed to slip by seventh-seeded Seattle last night by a final of 70-68. With the WAC being made up almost exclusively of new teams, NMSU is the only remaining squad that has ever won this tournament, defeating Texas-Arlington and Louisiana Tech (two schools no longer around) in the last two years.
The Aggies won both of the regular season meetings with Bakersfield, which means the all-time series now stands at 6-0 in favor of New Mexico State. The winner of tonight's battle heads to the title game on Saturday to face the survivor of the Idaho/Utah Valley clash for the right to represent the WAC in the NCAA Tournament.
Issiah Grayson erupted for a game-high 29 points as the Roadrunners of Cal State Bakersfield captured the six-point win over the Chicago State in the quarterfinals last night. Grayson made good on all but one of his 15 opportunities at the free-throw line for the sixth-seeded Roadrunners. Aly Ahmed registered a double-double for Bakersfield with 15 points and a game- high 12 rebounds, followed by Stefon Johnson with 12 points and nine boards off the bench. In a meeting that featured seven ties and 12 lead changes, the Roadrunners overcame 17 turnovers by posting a 29-12 scoring margin at the free-throw line.
Sim Bhullar logged a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds, adding five blocked shots, as New Mexico State held on to defeat the Seattle Redhawks, by a mere two points in the quarterfinals of the tourney last night in Sin City. Also scoring in double figures for second-seeded New Mexico State were DK Eldridge and Tshilidzi Nephawe with 19 and 15 points, respectively. Having an off night was Daniel Mullings who shot only 1-of-7 from the field as he finished with eight points and six assists. The Aggies played a bit loose with the ball at times, turning it over on 16 occasions, but the team combated those miscues by generating a 25-11 scoring advantage at the free-throw line.
With Bhullar and Nephawe camping in the paint and doing all they can to clear the glass and disrupt opponents, expect to see the more experienced Aggies move ahead in this tournament and head back to the title game.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: New Mexico State 73, CS Bakersfield 62
03/14 10:39:21 ET