Game #9-255: Texas State Bobcats at New Mexico State AggiesJanuary 5, 2013 9:00 pm
Pan American Center
"Southwest Texas State Normal School opened its doors in 1903. Over the years, the Legislature broadened the institution's scope and changed its name in succession, to Normal College, Teachers College, College, University, and in 2003 to Texas State University-San Marcos.
" (TSU website) Texas State moves this season from the Southland Conference, along with conference mates UTSA and UT-Arlington, to the Western Athletic Conference. Like the others, for the Bobcats this is a one-time through season in the WAC, as they all move to other conferences next year: UTSA to Conference USA, and both Texas State and UT-Arlington to the Sunbelt.
Texas State's opponents for this second game of their first WAC road trip are the New Mexico State Aggies. This is only the third meeting between the schools: Southwest Texas State won a second round game against New Mexico A&M in the 1952 NAIB tournament in Kansas City, and the Bobcats lost on their previous visit to Las Cruces in late 1987.
The Bobcats arrive in Las Cruces with only four wins in fifteen games, having lost all three WAC games including Thursday's defeat at Denver, and their last six games overall. The four Texas State wins have come against Fordham, Division III UT‑Tyler, UC-Riverside in the seventh place game of the Great Alaska Shootout, and UT-Pan American. New Mexico State stands at 7-8 overall, with a 1-2 WAC record, having won their Thursday game against UTSA
As I entered the arena, I stopped to visit with several of the ticket office and arena staff, as my nephew Brian was in the group. Ticket office manager Patrick Kennedy noted that he thought the fan base, and maybe the team, was looking past this game, and that he thought that might be a mistake. Next I stopped to watch the band warm up, hassling director John Matthews about wearing the other team's colors for the second consecutive night; to be fair, Texas State's dominant color is pretty close to New Mexico State's, but the orange shirt on Thursday???
While at the floor, I also used my limited phone camera skills to try to catch the Aggies warming up as well; maybe not as well...this is the best of several.
The game began with freshman center Sim Bhullar controlling the tip for the Aggies. After a foul, a couple of missed shots, and a turnover, Texas State forward Joel Wright broke the ice with a short jumper. New Mexico State scored the next twelve: two dunks and a made free throw by Bhullar, a superhoop and two free throws by senior wing Bandja Sy, and a jumper from the other senior wing, Tyrone Watson. After the first media timeout, the Bobcats went on a 16-3 run of their own, taking a 21‑15 lead; Bobcat junior guard Deonté
Jones scored three of the four #superhoops. NMSU freshman guard Terrel de Rouen answered with two three-pointers, while Bobcat Nick Hinton added his second. After the under-eight timeout, Aggie sophomore guard Daniel Mullings took charge briefly, scoring two free throws and a rare three-pointer from near the top of the key, putting the Aggies back up by two, 30-28. The teams remained within two for the rest of the half; Jones' jumper at the buzzer tied the score at thirty-seven.
The scoring leader at the half was Deonté Jones with fifteen; although he has played in twelve of the Bobcats' fifteen games before tonight, he had only scored a total of twenty-one points in those games! Six other Bobcats tallied in the first half. Seven Aggies scored as well, led by Sy's twelve and Bhullar's nine. At the intermission, there was a game between the mascots of local restaurants; not real exciting, although I guess the Subway guy supposedly had some Division II experience, so they made him change teams halfway through, so the game was not a rout.
The second half started with a 10-2 Aggie run. Mullings scored twice on drives to the hoop. Bobcat coach Doug Davalos called timeout. (Yes, Aggie fans, he is the son of former UNM athletic director Rudy Davalos.) Next, Watson got an old-fashioned three-point play just before Bhullar did the same, then scored again on a long pass from freshman point guard K. C. Ross-Miller. Now down ten, Bobcat forward Joel Wright went to work, scoring all ten points in a 10-6 run with an and-one, two free throws, a 13-foot jumper, and then a #superhoop. Tyrone Watson scored again for the Aggies, and then made a spectacular pass to Mullings for an equally spectacular dunk, which was waved off as Watson had been fouled. At the under-twelve media timeout, the Aggies led by eight. For the next five minutes, both teams almost completely forgot how to score, but remembered how to foul as both teams used up their non-shooting common fouls, running over each other, and such. Texas State closed the gap to five and the two teams traded baskets for a while.
With just over four minutes to play, Bobcat forward Matt Staff went to work, scoring the seven in a 7-3 run, at one point closing the gap to three. Aggie coach Marvin Menzies used a timeout with two minutes to play and the Aggie lead at four; after that the Aggie defense tightened and they scored the game's final seven points.
The game's leading scorer was Mullings with twenty-two, seventeen in the second half, followed by Bhullar with twenty, and Sy with sixteen points and ten rebounds. The Aggies seem to have started to figure out how to get Bhullar the ball in position to score, and that seems to be opening up opportunities for others to get open shots. Texas State was led by Joel Wright's seventeen, fifteen in the second half. Jones ended the game with the fifteen he scored before the intermission.
The Bobcats' rough introduction into the WAC continues next week when they host Louisiana Tech, a WAC tournament finalist last year who returns much of the team, and UT-Arlington, regular season champions of the Southland a year ago. The Aggies embark on their second WAC road trip, visiting Seattle and Idaho next week. These two teams will meet again in San Marcos in just under three weeks.
This game was another AggieVision broadcast, and the announcers noted that they believed that Texas State would knock off one or more of the WAC's top teams this season, and were happy that it was not tonight. The post-game highlights show
features a dunkfest beginning about 2:00 into this video; the waved-off dunk by Mullings is included.
at NEW MEXICO STATE 78, TEXAS STATE 67
TEXAS STATE 4-12 (0-4) -- P. Hawkins 3-5 2-4 9; M. Staff 4-8 0-0 9; J. Wright 5-11 6-7 17; D. Jones 5-7 2-2 15; W. Davis 2-4 1-2 5; C. Stern 3-6 0-0 6; V. Jones 0-3 0-0 0; N. Hinton 2-6 0-0 6; B. Brown 0-3 0-0 0; D. Richardson 0-2 0-0 0; R. Koenen 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 11-15 67.
NEW MEXICO STATE 8-8 (2-2) -- D. Mullings 8-15 5-6 22; B. Sy 6-11 2-2 16; T. Watson 3-8 1-1 7; S. Bhullar 9-9 2-2 20; K. Ross-Miller 0-4 0-0 0; T. de Rouen 3-4 0-0 8; R. Dixon 0-0 4-4 4; R. Barry 0-1 1-2 1; M. Buovac 0-0 0-0 0; K. Aronis 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-54 15-17 78.
Three-point goals: TXST 8-21 (M. Staff 1-2; J. Wright 1-1; B. Brown 0-1; N. Hinton 2-4; R. Koenen 0-1; D. Richardson 0-1; V. Jones 0-3; W. Davis 0-1; P. Hawkins 1-2; D. Jones 3-5), NMSU 5-16 (B. Sy 2-5; K. Ross-Miller 0-3; T. de Rouen 2-3; D. Mullings 1-3; K. Aronis 0-2); Rebounds: TXST 25 (J. Wright 7), NMSU 35 (B. Sy 10); Assists: TXST 13 (P. Hawkins 8), NMSU 17 (K. Ross-Miller 6); Total Fouls -- TXST 21, NMSU 13; Fouled Out: TXST-None; NMSU-None.