Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#803 New Mexico State -3.5 vs.
#804 UTEP 137
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 9:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#803 New Mexico State University
#804 University of Texas at El Paso
1-0
1-0
18-13-1
10-17
16-16
9-18
77
63
64
68

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It’s non-conference action on the college hardwood when the WAC locks up with Conference USA down in the Lone Star State. The New Mexico State Aggies are on the road as they travel to face the UTEP Miners Tuesday night. New Mexico State comes in off a 92-46 whipping of Western New Mexico at home in their previous game last Tuesday. UTEP knocked off New Mexico Highlands 93-70 at home in their season opener last Tuesday. The Aggies lead the all-time series between the teams 74-70 and have won the last nine meetings, including a 62-58 road victory in the last meeting on November 28, 2018.

UTEP Miners Try to Improve to 2-0

New Mexico State had little trouble dispatching Western New Mexico in their season opener at home. The Aggies now look to beat UTEP for the tenth straight time and improve to 2-0 on the season. New Mexico State led 16-0 just over five minutes into the game and the rout was on. The Aggies were up 29-3 midway through the first half and held a 52-16 edge at the half. New Mexico State led by as many as 52 in the second half before settling in and easing off the gas in the final minutes. The Aggies made life miserable for Western New Mexico from beginning to end.

The Aggies shot 54.5 percent from the field, including hitting nine of 25 from beyond the arc, and knocked down 23 of 28 free throw attempts. New Mexico State controlled the glass by a 40-18 margin and forced 14 turnovers in the contest. Jabari Rice led the Aggies with 21 points off the bench in the game. Trevelin Queen added 14 points, William McNair added 11 points plus seven rebounds while Shawn Williams and Ivan Aurrecochea each had 10 points in the contest. All told, 10 players took the floor for New Mexico State and all of them scored in the victory.

UTEP Miners Try to Improve to 2-0

UTEP took care of business against an overmatched New Mexico Highlands squad to open the season on a positive note. The Miners now try to improve to 2-0 as they take the floor at home once again in this contest. UTEP trailed 8-7 six minutes into the game before ripping off an 18-0 run to take control of the game. The Miners led by 20 at the half and withstood a cold spell in the second half that saw the Cowboys close to within nine with just over eight minutes to play in the game. UTEP regrouped and put the game away after that as they pulled away down the stretch.

The Miners shot 56.4 percent from the field, including six of 14 from three-point range, and drained 25 of 32 free throws in the contest. UTEP controlled the glass 42-28 and held New Mexico Highlands to 36.2 percent from the field. Both teams turned the ball over 20 times in the contest. Efe Odigie led the Miners with 20 points and six rebounds in the contest. Daryl Edwards and Bryson Williams each had 17 points in the win while Souley Boum added 15. Eric Vila contributed 11 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the victory.

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UTEP managed to earn the win in their opener but the fact that they turned the ball over 20 times is concerning. Seeing the fact that the Miners let the Cowboys climb back within single digits with under 10 minutes to play has to give one pause. New Mexico State has been a tough team in recent years and they cruised to an easy win in their opener. The Aggies have experience from the team that nearly knocked Auburn out of the NCAA Tournament last season. New Mexico State has beaten UTEP nine straight times: look for them to make it 10 in a row here.

Prediction: New Mexico State Aggies -3.5

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Both teams cracked the 90-point mark in their respective season openers. The thing was, UTEP gave up 70 points in their game against a badly overmatched team. The Miners were decent defensively, allowing 69 points per game but ranked only 339th in the nation in scoring offense last season with 64.1 points per game. It's hard to have much faith that their offense will hold up against a solid Division I team. New Mexico State was excellent on both ends last season, ranking 52nd in scoring offense (78.1 points per game) while finishing 28th in scoring defense (64.5 points per game) on the year. Can the Aggies clamp down on the Miners here?

The under is 5-0 in the Aggies' last 5 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game and 4-1 in their last five against Conference USA opponents. UTEP has seen the under go 5-1 in their last six non-conference games, 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600 and 4-1 in their last five against WAC opponents. The teams have stayed under the number in four of the last five meetings: look for that to be the case again here as New Mexico State controls the game on both ends of the floor.

Prediction: Under 137.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.