What: Game Sixteen
Who: NM State (7-8, 0-3 WAC) vs. California Baptist (9-7, 1-2 WAC)
When: Saturday, Jan. 6, 7 pm MT
Where: Las Cruces, NM – Pan American Center (12,504)
Watch: ESPN+ | Comcast New Mexico | Bally Sports Arizona
Lists: Zia Country 99.5 (PxP – Jack Nixon, Analyst – Anita Skipper)
Attend: Online ticket sales
Stats: Click Here
Follow: Twitter – @NMStateMBB, Instagram – @NMStateMBB, Facebook – NM State Men’s Basketball
THE OPENING TIP
• The Aggies will look to earn their first win in league play of the season as they host California Baptist on Saturday night in the Pan American Center.
• After starting the WAC season 0-3, NM State will look to avoid its first 0-4 start in conference play since 2004-05 when it suffered losses in its first four Sun Belt contests.
• Despite the 1-5 combined record between the two programs, Saturday’s meeting will still garner the eyes of WAC watchers as both NM State and California Baptist were selected to finish fifth or better in the WAC Preseason Coaches’ and Media Polls.
• The Pan American will be the place to be on Saturday as both the men’s and women’s programs are slated to play in a double header benefitting Aggie Nation. Head Coach Jody Adams will lead the Aggies’ women’s team against Tarleton at 4 pm ahead of the men’s game against the Lancers.
HISTORIC WAC DOMINANCE
• Entering its final season in the WAC, NM State has put together one of the most impressive runs in all of college basketball.
• Across 17-plus years, the Aggies have posted a 196-67 record against conference opponents.
• Additionally, the Aggies’ 10 WAC Tournament titles is the most in conference history with UTEP’s five tournament titles being the next closest.
CRASH THE BOARDS
• After pulling down 21 boards in his previous three outings, Deshawndre Washington enters Saturday’s game ranked 31st in the nation and second in the WAC in defensive rebounds – pulling down 6.6 per game.
• The extraterrestrial guard also ranks inside the top-100 in the country in rebounds per game as his team-leading 7.8 rebounds per game rank 96th amond Division I men’s basketball players.
• Deshawndre Washington and Xavier Pinson have been one of the most prolific backcourts in the country and are currently averaging a combined 9.2 assists per game.
• The pair is currently tied for second in the WAC with 4.6 assists per game each.
• The backcourt duo of Pinson and Washington are also the only two Aggies to appear in the starting lineup in each of the Aggies’ first 15 games.
• The two guards who both hail from Chicago, Ill., also each average double figures as Pinson leads the Aggies – scoring 13.3 points per game while Washington ranks second on the Aggies, posting 12.2 points per contest.
• Pinson and Washington are also the only two Aggies averaging more than 30 minutes of playing time under Greg Heiar this season.
TOUGH SLEDDING TO START
• Losing in WAC play is not something Aggie Nation is used to seeing – especially not to start the season. The 0-3 record against conference opponents marks just the second time in program history that the Aggies have opened WAC play with three losses.
• In fact, NM State has started WAC play with a 3-0 record eight times since joining the league ahead of the 2005-06 season.
SCOUTING THE LANCERS
• In his 10th year with the Lancers, Head Coach Rick Croy will lead California Baptist on Saturday night against the Aggies.
• Last year, California Baptist finished with an overall record of 18-16 and 7-11 in WAC play. CBU won its first WAC Tournament game in program history when they knocked off UTRGV 81-80 in the Opening Round before falling to Sam Houston in the First Round.
• California Baptist’s depth will be a point of focus on Saturday as the Lancers rank 36th in the nation in bench points per game (27.94).
• NM State will need to take care of the ball and fortunately for the Aggies, the Lancers do not turn over their opponents very often as they rank 301st in forced turnovers per game and 338th in steals per game.
• Joe Quintana enters the game as the Lancers’ top scorer at 10.7 points per game to represent one of just two CBU scorers to average more than 10 points.
• The other Lancer to average double figures is NBA prospect Taran Armstrong who tallies 10.4 points per contest.
• This will mark the eighth time that Stephen F. Austin and NM State will meet up with the first-ever matchup coming in 2018-19.