Saturday, February 24, 2007

Looking for 4 in a row in Las Cruces

Must keep Mr. Nelson off the offensive boards

The Fresno State Bulldogs will be in Las Cruces Saturday to play the New Mexico State Aggies. The Bulldogs enter off of Thursdays road victory over La. Tech 64-63, their 3rd consecutive victory. The Aggies defeated Utah State Thursday night 76-73. The Aggies are also looking to win their 20th straight game at home in the Pan-American Center.

The first meeting of the two teams on Feb 10th went the way of the Bulldogs 75-69, a game which the final score did not indicate the true margin. In that first meeting the Bulldogs outshot the Aggies 48-39% from the field and had 34 points in the paint to NMSUs 20.

The Aggies had 21 turnovers and the Bulldogs capitalized scoring 30 points off of them. Quinton Hosley lead the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Bell had his career-high 16 points to go with his 7 assists.

More on NMSU:

The Aggies are led by Junior guard Justin Hawkins who averages 16 points per game and adds 7 rebounds per game. Hawkins led the Aggies with 23 points in their victory over Utah State, forward Tyrone Nelson added 13 points and 8 rebounds.

NMSU was able to overcome Utah State star Jaycee Carroll’s 30 points, which came on 11-19 shooting. NMSU was able to outrebound USU 36-25 and shoot a blistering 56% from the field.

One issue was the Aggies turnover problems against Utah State. They turned it over 23 times and USU had 32 points off of those turnovers. The points in the paint edge went to NMSU to the tune of 36-26.

The Bulldogs coming in:

The Bulldogs grinded out and held off a pesky La. Tech team to squeak out a victory on Thursday, it was still a huge win based on their road woes in WAC play. Dominic McGuire led the way with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots. Kevin Bell added a career high 16 points.

The Bulldogs keys to victory was great half court defense and the ability to keep La. Tech off of the offensive glass. They were not able to get a solid effort off of the bench, a highlight in recent games. They may be without the services of backup guard Tyson Parker due to a hand injury.

Eddie Miller was a dismal 1-6 from the field and only scored 2 points a game removed from a career high 27 points. Another effort of that caliber and the Bulldogs cannot compete in Las Cruces.

It will take a great effort on the boards, improved three point shooting, and a huge effort from the forward tandem of McGuire and Hosley.

MBs take:

This is a winnable game although many wont agree, yes the Aggies have won 20 straight at home so why would FSU be the team to end the streak. The early going in this game will be key because although they are confident coming in a big run early by NMSU could break the Dogs.

The keys are as follows:

-No more than 10 turnovers

-No more that 10 offensive rebounds for NMSU

-Eddie Miller must score 12 or more points

-McGuire and Hosley must avoid foul trouble

-must shoot 40% from the field 35% from 3 and 70% from the line

-Must force 15+ turnovers from the Aggies

That being said I think the Dogs put up a good fight, but get overwhelmed down the stretch due to two of the above keys not being accomplished. They lose by 5 and fall back to .500 in the WAC.

Also if your up for a good laugh and some Theus arrogance then check out the NMSU link below:

Theus Quotes

GoBulldogs and NMSU preview:

Go Bulldogs


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