USA TODAY Sports
The UTEP Miners take a break from CUSA play to face their bitter I-10 rivals, the NMSU Aggies. The game is at the Pan Am Center and can be seen on ESPN3 at 7 pm El Paso time.
The UTEP Miners (14-11, 7-5 CUSA) will take on the New Mexico State Aggies (18-9, 12-3 WAC) tonight at the Pan Am Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico. If you are unable to make it to the game tonight, ESPN 3 will be showing the game online. This will be the second game between the two schools this season. UTEP won the first meeting held at the Don Haskins Center back on November 28th, 2012 by a final of 55-54. The all time series between both schools is tied at 102-102. The last time UTEP swept the series between the two schools was during the 2010-2011 season. For the Aggies, the last time they swept the series was the 2006-2007 season.
Since their last game, NMSU has gone 15-5 thanks largely to a 12 game winning streak that was recently ended on February 16th when the Aggies lost to the Aggies (of Utah State).
NMSU is currently ranked 150th in the nation in points per game at 68.4. The Aggies are currently ranked 40th in rebounds per game at 38.1 and 223rd in the nation in assists at 12.1 per game. NMSU shoots 45.6 percent from the field which ranks them 70th in the nation.
Since their last game, UTEP has gone 12-7. This streak of games saw some high points (beating Oregon) and low points (horrible offense leading to losses). The Miners always seem to find ways out of their slumps. UTEP's overall record really does not dictate the improvements that they have made and continue to make as the season is winding down.
The Miners are currently ranked 269th in the nation in scoring at 63.4 points per game. UTEP ranks 312th in the nation in rebounding (31.2) and 145th in assists (13.2) per game. The Miners are currently ranked 104th in the nation in field goal percentage at 44.6 percent per game.
Assists: Jacques Streeter (5.1), McKenzie Moore (2.2), Julian Washburn (1.8)
New Mexico State Aggies:
Rebounds- Bandja Sy (7.3), Sim Bhullar (6.0), Daniel Mullings (5.2)
Assists- K.C. Ross-Miller (2.6), Daniel Mullings (2.6), Bandja Sy (1.5)
Final thoughts: For the Miners to win this game tonight they must have a strong fan base heading out to Las Cruces with them. If UTEP can feel like they are at home (while being away), we might see a great game on our hands. The Miners must use their brains and not take so many 3 point shots if they get down. It is simple, drive to the lane and get mental with NMSU. If we can shake up their mind and destroy their game plan, UTEP should have another season sweep of their I-10 rivals.
Prediction: Miners 62, Aggies 56