Lone test against opposition Power Five pits NM state versus Washington state on Wednesday night

Game eleven
New Mexico State (8-2) at Washington State (7-3)
Wednesday December 15 | 8:00 PM MT | Beasley Coliseum | Pullman, Laver.
Watch (Pac-12 Washington) | Listen | Live Statistics | Tickets | NM State Play Notes | WSU Game Notes

THE OPENING BOARD
• The end point of a long, four-game road season for the NM Men’s State Basketball Team is the Pacific Northwest as the Aggies have settled in Pullman, State. Washington, for a Wednesday night showdown with Pac-12 opponent Washington State. inside the Beasley Coliseum.
• The Cougars-Aggies’ fourth all-time game kicks off at 8:00 p.m. MT Wednesday night.
• Pac-12 Washington will carry every second of the action with Greg Heister and Dan Dickau to narrate the action.
• On radio waves (and Internet radio), the legendary man of radio play-by-play Jack nixon will set up a shop next to the court to call the action.
• Nixon’s play-by-play and analysis can be heard on 99.5 Zia Country FM in Las Cruces, NM, and nationwide on The Varsity Network app.
• Affiliate stations of the Aggie Sports network can be tuned into Artesia, NM (990 AM), Carlsbad, NM (1240 AM), Gallup, NM (94.9 FM), Alamogordo, NM (103.7 FM) and El Paso , Texas (1380 a.m.). All of these stations will also broadcast Nixon’s commentary on Wednesday night’s tilt.

QUICK BREAK POINTS
• For the third time since Chris Jans became the head coach of the Aggies, NM State won eight of his first 10 games to start the season. NM State had already started 8-2 in 2017-18 and 2018-19, eventually winning the WAC regular season title and the WAC tournament title in each of those campaigns.
• The Aggies’ 0.480 collective shooting percentage ranks second in the WAC and 42nd in the nation.
• Blocking fire was also a key part of the Aggies’ hot start. NM State averages 4.3 blocked shots per game, a number that ranks 76th nationally. During Jans’ tenure as head coach of the Aggies, NM State never exceeded 3.0 blocked shots per game in a season.
• NM State have won their last three games, tying their longest winning streak of the season.
• The Aggies are 3-0 in real road games this season and have won each of their last five games in this classification. Only two other NCAA Division I teams (Gonzaga and West Virginia) have longer winning streaks in real road games.
• Under Jans’ leadership, NM State has achieved an impressive 35-12 (.745) score in real road games since the start of the 2017-18 season.
• With Jans in the lead, the Aggies were 5-6 (0.455) against opponents Power Five. That mark includes a result of 5-4 (0.556) against enemies of the Power Five in regular season tilts. NM State has won victories over Illinois, Miami, Mississippi State and Washington State (twice) under Jans’s leadership since 2017-18.
• NM State hasn’t led end to end in a single game this season, but that didn’t stop them from winning. Twice this season, the Aggies have erased double-digit deficits to come out on top.
• NM State’s NET ranking of 84 is the second best among all WAC teams at the time of writing. The Aggies have two wins against teams that are in the top 55 of the last edition of the NET rankings (Davidson, 49, and UC Irvine, 54).

STATE OF NM vs. STATE OF WASHINGTON | SERIES HISTORY AND TIDBITS
• In the program’s first 114 years, the state of New Mexico never crossed paths with Washington state on hardwood. However, when the Aggies and Cougars meet on Wednesday night, it will be the fourth time in the past 1,111 days that the teams have faced each other.
• Now in his fifth season at the helm of the Aggies, head coach Chris Jans is the only coach in program history to topple Washington state. In fact, Jans is 2-1 against Washington State during his coaching career, both wins representing both his career victories over Pac-12 opponents.
• Jans is an all-time 2-3 record against Pac-12 opponents and that includes a 2-2 record when playing against Pac-12 opponents on neutral grounds.
• Now in his fourth coaching stoppage, third-year Washington State coach Kyle Smith will face Jans for the second time. Previously, Smith was in charge in San Francisco and his stint with the Dons came after head coach stops at Columbia from the Ivy League and Saint Francis in the NEC.
• Six current Aggies team members have played against Washington State in their respective careers. These people understand Clayton-henri, Johnny mccant, Will McNair Jr., Nate pryor, Jabari rice and Donnie Tillman.
• Jans is 12-8 (0.600) head coach of the Aggies in games played in the Pacific time zone.

LAST TIME OUT vs. WASHINGTON STATE | New Mexico State 54, vs. Washington State 63 | Saturday, December 7, 2019
• NM State enjoyed two separate three-point first-half advances over Washington State, but after CJ Bobbitt’s three points that gave the Aggies a 14-11 lead with 9:42 left, the Cougars recorded a 16-2 streak before the end of the first stanza and held on for a 63-54 win in the Spokane Arena.
• Washington State’s lead increased to 14 points in the opening minutes of the second period after CJ Elleby splashed out a long ball to put the Aggies at 39-25 with 15:38 to go.
• Following the three-point run, NM State took off on a 14-2 run for a one-win run. Jabari Rice had six of his team-high 14 points, and it was his old-fashioned three-point game with 11:27 left that brought the Aggies down to two, 41-39.
• Over the next five and a half minutes, however, the Cougars took off 12-2 and restored their lead to double digits.
• Although NM State finished with a 42-37 glass lead, that wasn’t enough to make up for a poor shooting performance by the Aggies. NM State went just 5 of 28 (17.9%) on a three-point range while committing 17 turnovers.
• The disparity in free throws also played a role in the Aggies’ loss. NM State made just seven of its 14 tries on the charity strip (50%) while the Cougars converted 21 of their 26 (80.8%) attempts at that distance.
• Together, Queen and Rice have added 28 of the Aggies’ 54 points. These two finished a collective of 12 of 31 (0.387) in the field as no other Aggie totaled more than eight points in the neutral site loss.

LAST RELEASE | State of New Mexico 63, in Loyola Marymount 58 | Saturday 11 December 2021
• While not hitting a single basket after the setback jumper Jabari Rice with 7:18 to go, the NM State men’s basketball team dug deep in defense and used good throws francs to win a 63-58 triumph at Loyola Marymount last Saturday night.
• The Aggies used a 21 of 25 (84 percent) performance from the charity strip to secure their first victory over a West Coast Conference opponent in the Chris Jans the era of coaching. Those 21 free throws were the second-highest game total this year for NM State.
• Relentless on the glass, NM State finished with a 37-22 (+15) rebound lead over the Lions for the victory as well. That rebound margin equaled the team’s most lopsided mark of the season.
• Rebounds and free throws were two big things for the Aggies in the win as they had to survive a season-high 26 turnovers. Those 26 shots were the highest in a game in the Chris Jans the coaching era and have also been the most important in a single game for the Aggies since committing the same number in a 79-57 home non-conference victory over Louisiana on Nov. 23, 2012.
Teddy allen maintained their double-digit scoring streak finishing with a team-record 12 points on 3 of 8 shots from the field. The goalie also added a game-high eight rebounds and went 6 of 7 from the foul line to help NM State secure the victory.
• Rice also added a 7 of 8 performance from the free throw line in the victory for NM State, while Johnny mccant went 4 of 6 from that distance to help the Aggies to the win. Rice’s two free throws 45 seconds from the end gave the visitors the lead for good while McCants’ two throws 18 seconds from the end bolstered NM State’s slim lead.
• The victory marked NM State’s third in a game decided by five points or less in 2021-22. NM State is 3-0 in games decided by five points or less this season and under Jans, the Aggies are 23-9 (.719) in games of this configuration.
• Defensively, Rice did a masterful job ensuring that Loyola Marymount sniper Joe Quintana didn’t get anything easy. Heading into Saturday’s showdown, Quintana was averaging 16.2 points per game and shooting 45.7% from three points. With Rice on him throughout the game, Quintana was limited to just five points on a 1-in-7 effort on the pitch. This shooting performance included a 1 in 5 long range exit.

SCOUTING STATE OF WASHINGTON | LIST | SCHEDULE | STATISTICS
• Not afraid to let him fly long distance – and just as fearless to play solid defense – Washington State is hoping for a two-game winning streak over NM State on Wednesday night.
• The Cougars lead the Pac-12 in field goal attempts at three points (247), three runs scored (87) and three points per game (8.7).
• Home defense, especially that of Efe Abogidi, has also been a force for the Cougars. Washington State ranks 27th nationally with 54 blocked shots overall, while its 5.4 rejections per game is the 29th highest score among all NCAA Division I college basketball teams. Abogidi’s 1.9 blocks per game is the third highest average among all Pac-12 players.
• Leading scorer Michael Flowers (14.1 points per game) has averaged 2.6 three-pointers per incline for the Cougars this season. This is the third highest average among all Pac-12 players.
• Washington State ranks 59th in the country in terms of defensive goal percentage (0.394) and 34th in the country for rebound margin (+7.6).

TO BE CONTINUED
• NM State returns to Las Cruces, NM for the last two games on its non-conference roster. Once back in the land of enchantment, the Aggies will have a quick turnaround for their Saturday afternoon clash with northern New Mexico. Departure inside the Pan American Center is set for 4:00 p.m. that day.

++ State NM ++

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