Second Half of WAC Play Begins at New Mexico State for Bulldogs
Feb. 3, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech starts the second half of Western Athletic Conference play with three consecutive road games beginning at New Mexico State Saturday night at 8 p.m. CT.
The Bulldogs are 3-13 all-time against the Aggies including a 0-9 mark in Las Cruces, N.M. Tech fell 83-73 in the first meeting this season in Ruston.
After nearly beating conference leading Nevada, the Bulldogs are 11-11 on the season and 3-4 in the WAC. LA Tech is currently in sixth place in the conference and half-a-game out of a two-way tie for fourth with Idaho and Utah State.
Freshman guard Raheem Appleby leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 13.5 points per game while senior guard Trevor Gaskins and sophomore guard Cordarius Johnson are contributing 10.5 and 10.0 points per contest, respectively.
Four Bulldogs are averaging at least four rebounds per game, lead by junior guard Brandon Gibson at 4.3 per contest. Junior forward J.L. Lewis has pulled down 4.1 rebounds a game while Gaskins and Johnson are grabbing 4.0 boards a piece.
With a block against Nevada, freshman forward Michale Kyser has 40 on the season and is seven away from tying Eldon Bowman (1986-90) for 10th on the program's career blocks list.
LA Tech is scoring 68.5 points per game on 40.4 percent shooting while pulling down 37.0 rebounds per contest.
The Bulldogs lead the WAC in steals with 7.2 per game and are second in made three-pointers per game at 7.8 per contest which ranks 48th in the nation.
New Mexico State enters Saturday's contest with a 16-7 record after defeating CSU Bakersfield 78-57 at home on Wednesday and are in second place in the conference at 5-2.
At home this year, the Aggies are 9-3 and 3-1 against WAC opponents with victories over Fresno State, Idaho and Utah State. Their lone loss in conference action in Las Cruces was to Nevada 68-60.
Wendell McKines leads the conference and NMSU in scoring (18.4 ppg) and rebounding (10.5 rpg). Hernst Laroche is second on the team with 12.1 points per game and paces the Aggies with 3.5 assists and 1.7 steals per contest.
Hamidu Rahman is second on the team in rebounding (6.3 rpg) and third in points (9.7 ppg).
As a team, NMSU leads the WAC in scoring (77.2 ppg), scoring margin (+7.7 ppg), rebounding (40.4 rpg) and rebounding margin (+7.8 rpg). They are shooting 45.9 percent from the field but only 31.6 percent from three-point range.
The Aggies allow their opponents to shoot 42.5 percent overall and 33.0 percent on three-point attempts.
The game can be heard on KXKZ 107.5 FM and KJVC 92.7 FM with the "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz calling the action with the pregame show beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT. LA Tech All-Access subscribers can listen to the game by logging on through LATechSports.com, the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics.
The game will also be shown on television on KPXJ Ch. 21.1 in Shreveport. Fans can also watch the contest on pay-per-view through ESPN Full Court and online on ESPN3.
Live stats will be available through the men's basketball GameDay Central page which can be viewed through the link at the top of the page. Twitter users can follow sports information director Phillip Pongratz for updates of the game at www.twitter.com/LATechPPongratz.