LAS CRUCES – Idaho-New Mexico State is a pairing of the two old-timers in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Aggie men (13-5, 2-0) host the Vandals (7-10, 1-2) tonight in a televised game at 6 at the Pan Am Center.
New Mexico State leads the series 23-4, including a 13-0 mark in the Pan Am Center.
“We always play them tough and they always play us tough,” NMSU coach Marvin Menzies said . “Matchup wise, personnel wise and our coaching strategies are very compatible. Looking forward to it.”
The Aggie fans must hope Menzies’ players look forward to it more demonstrably than they showed just two nights ago in the second half against visiting Seattle. After storming out to a 48-28 halftime lead, the Aggies yielded 59 points and held on for a 96-87 win.
With much of the talk centered, not on whether the Aggies can win the league, but can they go unbeaten in league play, the risk is losing the team’s interest vs. the current WAC lineup – especially after gearing up earlier this season for games at Gonzaga and Arizona, and the four games vs. UTEP and New Mexico.
At least on Thursday, the Aggies had the foul stripe in their favor, hitting 35 of a whopping 53 attempts.
As a team, NMSU averages 30.2 foul shots per game, the 10th most among 351 men’s Division I programs.
Led by 6-foot-3 junior guard Connor Hill’s 28 points, Idaho is coming off an 86-85 double-overtime win Thursday at Texas-Pan American.