Techsters Travel to Las Cruces to Face Aggies
Feb. 13, 2008
LAS CRUCES - Louisiana Tech head coach Chris Long knows his team played awfully well in beating New Mexico State 57-50 in Ruston back on Jan. 19.
He also knows it will have to play even better if the Lady Techsters are to defeat the Aggies at the Pan American Center Thursday night at 8 p.m., a place where New Mexico State is 12-1 on the year.
"I expect them to be really ready to go, especially after we beat them in Ruston," Long said. "They play really well at home. They are solid. They've only lost six games all year, and three of those were in overtime. They are really close to having only two or three losses for the year.
New Mexico State (17-6, 7-3 WAC) has lost all six games this year by seven points or less with their lone setback at the Pan American Center - site of the 2008 Western Athletic Conference Tournament being a 72-66 overtime loss to UTEP on Nov. 28.
The Aggies enter the game ranking first in the WAC in a number of defensive categories, including field goal percentage defense (.351), points allowed per game (62.5) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.251).
Offensively, New Mexico State boasts three players averaging double figures led by Sherell Neal (14.4 ppg, 9.8 rpg), Anikia Jawara (12.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and Madison Spence (10.0 ppg). They also have three different players who have made more than 20 three-pointers on the year, including Spence (30-92), Irma Kmitaite-Smith (23-53) and Monique Bribiescas (22-64).
"They are probably the most well-balanced team in our league with the most experience," Long said. "Five of their top eight players are seniors. They score well in the post and can really get hot from the three-point line. I thought we defended them well in Ruston and it will be important for us to do that again. We will have to play really well to beat them in Las Cruces."
Tech (11-12, 5-5 WAC) is coming off an 80-55 win at Idaho Saturday, a game in which the Lady Techsters shot a season-high 57 percent and held the Vandals without a field goal for the first 10 minutes of the game.
Tech leads the all-time series against New Mexico State 7-1, although the Aggies defeated the Lady Techsters 63-57 in the WAC Tournament quarterfinals in Las Cruces last year.
What: Louisiana Tech (11-12, 5-5 WAC) at New Mexico State (17-6, 7-3) Where: Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M. When: 8 p.m. CST Thursday Radio: KXKZ 107.5 FM Internet: www.z1075fm.com