Friday, February 29, 2008

Dogs' Host Talented Aggies

Where have you gone Hector? 37 minutes, 0 points...

The Fresno State Bulldogs will play host to the New Mexico State Aggies Saturday night, and will follow that by traveling to Logan to face the Utah State Aggies Monday night. NMSU comes in with a 16-12 overall record (9-3 WAC). The Bulldogs now have a 13-15 overall record (5-8 WAC). This will be a very difficult matchup as has been over the past 3 seasons for the Dogs due to NMSUs size advantage inside. The Aggies are the most talented WAC team right now.

NMSU entering:

The Aggies dropped Thursday nights game in Reno versus Nevada 88-75, but their last victory came in the Bracketbusters over Long Beach State, an 80-48 drubbing of the 49ers. The Aggies played 12 players, all played 30 minutes or less. This is a great asset this late in the season to be able to rest players and not be forced to play key players 40 minutes a night.

Freshman Herb Pope led the way with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Justin Hawkins added 13 points and 10 rebounds while Wendell McKines had 10 points and 8 boards including 5 offensive.

Key Aggie Stats:

-78.2 points per game
-48% field goal shooting
-Justin Hawkins (17 pts, 7.2 rebs)
-Jonathan Gibson (12.6 pts, 42.7% 3 pt fgs)
-Herb Pope (10.9 pts, 6.7 rebs) since joining team
-+8.8 rebounding margin
-16.4 turnovers per game

Fresno State entering:

The Bulldogs are coming in with the confidence of 2 straight victories, their first since Dec 20th and 22nd. They beat Hawaii after overcoming a 2nd half deficit and had timely free throw shooting, then they were able to defeat Cal Poly Saturday in the Bracketbusters 76-70. Eddie Miller finished with 25 points on 6 three pointers. His biggest was a 30 footer with the shot clock winding with 2:28 remaining that broke a tie and put the Dogs up for good.

The heartbeat of the Dogs Kevin Bell had 19 points and 9 assists, Bell has been playing well of late. Tyson Parker added 8 off the bench and provided some valuable slashing and penetrating into the Poly zone. Dwight O’Neil added 15, but looked fatigued and bothered by his wrist during a subpar 2nd half. Hector Hernandez continues to have issues and was not able to score a point in 37 minutes of play.

Key Bulldog Stats:

-Kevin Bell (18.1 pts, 6 assts)
-Eddie Miller (15.1 pts, 99 made 3pt FGs)
-69.6 points per game
-8.4 made 3 point field goals per game
-Rebounding deficit of -4.7
-Turnover marin +1.7
-5.8 steals per game

MBs Take:

This is a tough matchup for the Dogs. They have had plenty of rest while NMSU played Thursday and was beat easily by Nevada. Will the Aggies come in a bit down or hungry to bounce back? That will be the key to FSUs chances along with Bell and Miller combining for a minimum of 40.

In the end, too many offensive boards for NMSU, they turn it over 17 times and the Dogs keep it close, but the Aggies win this one 75-71.

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