Spokane, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - The 19th-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs close out a
two-game set at home on Saturday, as they take on the New Mexico State Aggies
in non-conference action at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Mark Few's Bulldogs have won seven of their first eight games to start the
2013-14 season. The only setback thus far was a 84-79 upset to Dayton in the
first round of the Maui Invitational. Gonzaga were able to close out their
time in Hawaii with two victories over Chaminade and Arkansas and made it
three straight wins with last Sunday's 86-51 blasting of Coppin State.
Marvin Menzies' Aggies also have seven wins on the year, but they have also
lost three games. Two of those setbacks have come in the last two games, an
85-83 nail-biter at Colorado State and a 89-70 loss to rival New Mexico in Las
Cruces on Wednesday.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams on the hardwood.
The Aggies trailed the Lobos by 10 points at the half, and weren't able to
recover, despite outscoring New Mexico over the final 20 minutes. Overall,
NMSU shot a poor .387 from the floor, including a mere .211 from 3-point range
(4-of-19). In addition, New Mexico State was outscored 28-18 at the free-throw
line. Daniel Mullings scored 16 points to pace the team in the loss. Renaldo
Dixon added 15 off the bench, while KC Ross-Miller chipped in with nine.
NMSU has done a good job at the offensive end of the floor this season,
averaging 78.2 ppg, on a solid .483 shooting. In addition, the team has been
tough on the boards, outrebounding foes by just under seven boards per game.
Mullings is converting just over half of shots on the year, leading to a team-
high 17.7 ppg. DK Eldridge adds 12.1 ppg and is the team's top sniper (.516
from behind the arc). Centers Sim Bhullar (9.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Tshilidzi
Nephawe (9.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg) are a solid one-two punch in the paint. The 7-
foot-5 Bhullar is one of the nation's top shot-blockers at 3.3 per game.
Gonzaga knocked down half its shots from the floor, including 12 3-pointers,
and owned a 45-32 edge in rebounding, as the Zags made light work of Coppin
State. Gary Bell Jr. led four Bulldogs in double figures with 15 points.
Gerard Coleman and Kyle Dranginis added 14 and 12 points, respectively, off
the bench, while Sam Dower finished with 11 points. Star guard Kevin Pangos
was just 3-of-9 from the floor, finishing with nine points, but he did dole
out a team-high six assists.
Pangos and Bell give Gonzaga a devastating backcourt tandem, as both cam fill
up the basket and also get others involved. Pangos is shooting over 50 percent
from the floor and over 48 percent from behind the arc, pacing the team with
20.4 points and 4.1 assists per game. Bell is shooting over 54 percent from
long range, adding 15.0 ppg. Dower gives the team frontcourt balance with 14.5
points and a team-best 7.4 rebounds per game. Not many teams are shooting the
ball better than Gonzaga, which is knocking down 55.8 percent overall, and
48.1 percent from 3-point range. The result is a gaudy 91.8 ppg.
The Sports Network