March 6, 2013
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech has made plenty of history throughout its 26-3 overall record and 16-0 WAC record this season.
The Bulldogs have clinched at least a share of its first ever WAC regular season title, have been ranked in the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in 28 years and currently own the nation's longest active winning streak at 18 games.
LA Tech made more history earlier this season by beating Utah State in Logan, Utah for the first time ever. They will attempt to do something similar when they travel to face New Mexico State on Thursday, March 7 at 8 p.m. CT at the Pan American Center.
"[New Mexico State] is a very, very talented team," said head coach Michael White. "They are back at full strength. They are extremely talented, physical, long and experienced. We have our hands full. We'll have to go out there and hold our own in the paint defensively and on the glass to have a chance."
The upper-hand of this series has been held by NMSU (19-10, 12-4 WAC), especially in Las Cruces, N.M. where the Bulldogs are winless in 10 tries.
LA Tech is not the only team that has had difficulty winning at New Mexico State. The Aggies are 13-1 at home this season with their only loss coming to in-state rival No. 16 New Mexico.
It took an 81-72 victory in Ruston earlier this season over the Aggies to snap a seven-game losing skid against the defending WAC champions.
After the loss, NMSU reeled off 12 straight conference wins. However, they have dropped two of their last three games at Utah State (73-69) and at Denver (66-60), putting them firmly in the No. 3 slot of the WAC standings.
New Mexico State starts four players who average double-figures in scoring led by Daniel Mullings (13.7), followed closely by Bandja Sy (11.6), Tyrone Watson (10.7) and Sim Bhullar (10.2).
The Bulldogs are coming off two of their best performances of the season with 20-plus wins over Utah State (84-61) and San Jose State (88-61).
Offensively, LA Tech had five different players score in double-figures, including Raheem Appleby and Brandon Gibson who did it in both games by scoring a combined 31 points and 32 points, respectively.
Defensively, the Bulldogs held USU and SJSU to a combined 37-of-109 shooting for only 33.9 percent. Both opponents ended up making more free throws than made field goals.
With a win, LA Tech will secure the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament and clinch the WAC regular season title outright.
The matchup will be broadcast live on Altitude, ESPN Full Court and Aggie Vision and will be streamed live on ESPN3.
The contest will be broadcast live on the LA Tech Sports Network as well, including KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield) and KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield) with the pregame show beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play. Fans can also access live audio of the game via the Internet by subscribing to LA Tech All-Access at www.LATechSports.com.
Twitter users can also receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.