Black Lives Matter 

 

By: Salina Madrid

With the controversy going on in the country regarding “Black Lives Matter,” an organization here on campus is taking strides towards something that they believe in.

The Black Students Association at New Mexico State University was charted in the late 1960’s and promotes African, African-American, African-Caribbean, and African-Latino culture on campus.

Christopher Love, a former President of the organization, is inspired by the diversity of the group and advocates for their purpose and mission.

“I love the close bond that the members have with each other. We keep a warm and family atmosphere in our organization. We are very multi-cultural even though our mission is to promote Afro-culture. We have Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic members,” said Love.

It is important for them to embrace, no matter what someone’s background is, they are welcome into the organization, to explore their potential.

Statistics show that NMSU’s African descent makes up 3% of the total University. The Black Student Association says that their goal is to educate and show the University their cultures and the significance of them. While doing this, they want to make sure that the School stays diverse and equal. This is something that they strive for, especially with the recent incidents that have occurred around America.

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The School has a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds when it comes to student culture. Because we are so close to the borderland, and being a less expensive school with many benefits, you will definitely have a diverse group of people within your classes.

“We try to make our organization diverse by welcoming people into our group of all ethnicity’s, genders, religion, sexual preference’s, etc,” said former president, Love. “We try to stay active on campus and encourage our members to branch out and get involved in the things that NMSU offers.”

The group voiced that some have been subjected to police brutality and blatant racism before, within their community. As a result, they want to make sure that NMSU stays equal and diverse.

“A lot of us members were saddened and outraged by both the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as the killings of the police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge,” said the members of the Black Students Association.

The media and movies have promoted stereotypes of people from different places and cultures. They have branded law enforcement to be racist and to have favorites towards dissimilar people.

Because of this, the Black Student Association wants to block out stereotypes and maintains a strong relationship with police, especially NMSU police.

“As members we understand and respect that most law enforcement officers are model citizens and they risk their life to protect all of us,” said Love.

College students are our upcoming CEO’s, leaders, business men/woman, and rising successors. It is important that students here at NMSU take strides to break barriers and rise above any stereotype.

The Black Student Association wants people to know that they are open and care about their members and the student body. They want to encourage members to stay social with one another, no matter what color they are.

For more information on the Black Student Association at NMSU and to get involved, you can contact them at (575)-646-4208, or email blackpro@nmsu.edu.

Aggie offense leads to series-opening win

The Aggies baseball team won the first in a three-game series against Sacramento State.

 

Photo by Derek Gonzales.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

With the New Mexico State baseball team trailing WAC foe Sacramento State by two games in the conference standings, it made this weekend’s series all the more important. The Aggies were able to take the first game of the three-game series 14-4 in eight innings on Friday night at Presley Askew Field.

NM State (23-18, 11-5 WAC) pounded out six hits in just the first two innings off of Sacramento State starter Sam Long and the visiting Hornets (25-16, 12-4 WAC).

The Aggies came out in the bottom of the first and got things started with a Daniel Johnson (4 for 5, three RBI’s, HR) single. Outfielder Greg Popylisen (2 for 5, two doubles, RBI) followed suit with a double in the alley to put himself and Johnson in scoring position with no outs. Dan Hetzel (1 for 5, RBI) was able to connect on the first pitch he saw from Long and he brought in Johnson to push the Aggies out to a 1-0 lead.

Sacramento State came back in at the top of the second inning with a Brandon Hunley home-run to right field off of Aggie starter Marcel Renteria. It knotted the score at one, but the the Aggies would take control after that.

In the bottom of the second inning, third-baseman Trey Stine went up to the plate after Long struck out Aggie catcher Mason Fishback. Stine wasted no time, and he sent the first pitch over the right-field fence for a solo home-run. It was his fourth of the season and it sent the Aggies back into the lead at 2-1. Popylisen was back up at the plate two batters later, and he doubled to right-center on an 0-2 pitch to score the speedy Johnson from first to extend the lead to 3-1.

After Sacramento State tacked on a run in the top of the third inning, the Aggies went to the bottom of the inning and blew the game open. Austin Botello (1 for 4, two runs) began the inning with a walk.

Shortstop L.J. Hatch then doubled to put runners in scoring position for Fishback. Fishback redeemed himself after the strikeout earlier and took Long deep to right-field for a three-run home-run. Stine and Brent Sakurai were able to reach base following the home-run, and Johnson crushed a three-run home-run of his own to right-field to put NM State comfortably ahead at 9-2.

Renteria was outstanding on Friday night and got his fourth win of the year. He went 7.2 innings, striking out seven batters on a whopping 121 pitches. He threw 71 pitches for strikes, and did not let Sacramento State threaten after the Aggies had the six-run third inning.

NM State was firing on all cylinders throughout the game, as they scored at least one run in six different innings. They hit .462 as a team and hit 6 for 15 when runners were in scoring position. The 14 runs were the most they’ve scored in the month of April and it came at a great time, as the Aggies came into the series having lost six out of their last seven.

The Aggies look to win the series tomorrow as they will host the Hornets at one p.m. at Presley Askew Field. The series finale will be Sunday at noon.

Derek Gonzales can be reached at gordooo5@nmsu.edu

Follow Round Up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports

Opinion: This season, it’s do or die for Aggie football

The NMSU football team has been told by the Sun Belt Conference they are no longer wanted. This next season is vital for NMSU football to remain relevant.

 

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Photo from NMStateSports.com.

By Albert Luna

Sports Editor

Saturday, April 16.

NMSU football is holding its annual Crimson and White Scrimmage, with the conclusion of yet another set of spring practices in the books. The players play hard, the fans come out in pretty decent numbers, yet there’s still something that seems like it doesn’t fit.

It has been on the field for the past two seasons but has an expiration date of just two years more, and on this Saturday in April, the Sun Belt Conference logo remains part of NMSU football.

Obviously by now, most people know that the Aggies’ time in one of the worst Division-I FBS conferences is limited as the Sun Belt has essentially told NMSU (and Idaho) they are no longer welcome to play football in their conference beyond 2017.

Not too surprising, considering NMSU’s reputation as the school with the longest bowl drought. And it was generally expected that not a lot, if any, of FBS conferences would be lining up at the school’s doorsteps to invite the Aggies into their league—which is exactly what has (not) happened.

NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers has been fairly mum on the subject, so there is a whole lot of uncertainty for NMSU’s conference future.

A conference in college sports can mean almost everything. Not only do conferences have direct impacts on recruits and home attendance (household-name universities attract bigger numbers), but also their brand as a whole. A school can gain instant respect and prestige simply from slapping on a particular conference’s acronym next to their name.

NMSU knows this and they know that to get into a somewhat respectable conference going forward, especially in the cash cow sport that is football, they need to perform. That performance can no longer be a long term, exponential plan for growth: it has to happen quickly, and it has to happen in this next season.

Two years can be an enormous amount of time in the conference realignment world. If you need any evidence of this, just go back to the crazy shuffle in 2013 that left NMSU as the odd-school-out and stuck in the now football-less WAC. That being said, so much in college football can be decided on-the-fly in terms of where which schools are going, essentially making a program’s momentum everything. Because of this, NMSU, where traditionally success has been hard to come by, will likely struggle to achieve the kind of success they need to remain in the Sun Belt Conference.

The Aggies must have a winning season this fall and they must make a bowl game in order to keep their chances of staying at the top level of college football. Make no mistake: this next season will have a lasting impact on not only this school but the community for the foreseeable future.

But everything I’m saying is not something that the program doesn’t already know and isn’t preparing for. The face of the program, All-American running back Larry Rose III, says he thinks there certainly is pressure to make a bowl game.

“We don’t think of making a bowl simply because of conference and things like that, but that is a nice added pressure because everyone here wants to make a bowl at the end of the day,” he says. “It’s self-inflicted pressure, if we had to pinpoint it.”

To have a good season, NMSU needs a good start to the season, and the way to do that is to improve the team’s defense.

To accomplish this, the program brought in a new defensive coordinator in Frank Spaziani. And during the spring game, Spaziani’s influence was already apparent, in that the defensive side of the ball had more confidence.

Another important factor in the Aggies’ defense is Jaden Wright, who says the new coach has established a new culture.

“Coach Spaziani is such a good teacher of the game. He’s been right in everything because if we don’t do it his way, we’ll get beat,” he says.

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Andres Leighton/AP Photo.

Wright says that players are aware of the situation regarding the school’s conference future but that the coaching staff likes to keep it in the moment.

“We’re just trying to take it one game at a time, one season at a time, and however we do this year, that (conference decision) really is not up to us,” he says.

The third-year defensive back was named the Sun Belt player of the week on one occasion last year and has accepted his leadership role on the team now.

“I tell the guys that nothing that we do will be able to affect tomorrow,” he says.  “We all came here to win, that’s one thing people might not get: none of us came here to lose.”

He echoes the same goals as Rose.

“Our biggest thing is that we need to just make a bowl game,” Wright says. “That’s what it comes to.”

Spaziani and the defense certainly seem to have a groove. Rodney Butler, a senior linebacker heading into his final year, says the former Boston College head coach has challenged his players.

“It’s not only in practice, but it’s also in the film room and he’s pushing us into the best we can be,” he says.

If this Saturday in April is any indication of what is to come defensively, Wright and Butler seem to have their side of the ball well in check headed into the summer.

With the defensive revival seemingly already taking place, the team really has all of the weak spots from a year ago basically covered up, at least from a fundamental standpoint as the season continues to get closer and closer.

With these factors, there can be no more, “Next season we’ll get better” attitude, which Las Cruces has heard since 1960. Coaches need to judge their players on bowl success, and in turn, Athletic Director Mario Moccia needs to judge his coaches on this same criterion.

The time to win is no longer in the future for the Aggies, it is now and it’s more important than ever. The only question that remains: Will this team step up to the challenge?

Sports Editor Albert Luna may be reached at ALuna32@NMSU.edu

Make sure to follow the official Round Up Sports Twitter: @RoundUp_Sports

Aggies take doubleheader vs. Bakersfield in home finale

Aggies win a doubleheader against CSU – Bakersfield.

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Aggie Emma Adams in her last appearance on the NMSU softball field.  Photo by Derek Gonzales.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

The New Mexico State softball team appears to have found their groove as they inch closer to defending their WAC Championship in Seattle, Washington, in the 2016 WAC Softball Tournament in two weeks. They completed the sweep of Cal-State Bakersfield, winning both games of the doubleheader 12-1 and 4-2 Saturday afternoon at the New Mexico State softball complex.

The first game saw senior Karysta Donisthorpe take the mound for the Aggies. In her last start of her career at the New Mexico State softball complex, she was outstanding. She went all five innings in the run-ruled game, striking out four and giving up only one run.

“It was amazing. The fact that hitters were putting up runs was a great feeling,” says Donisthorpe, who capped off her illustrious four-year career with her ninth win of the year.

NM State (32-19, 11-1 WAC) jumped out to an early lead when Kelsey Horton hit a three-run home-run to push the Aggies out to a 3-0 lead. It was her team-leading 14th home run of the year. NM State as a team is first in the conference in home-runs, batting average, scoring, slugging percentage, and triples. A prolific offense is a Coach Kathy Rodolph staple, as she has put together powerful offenses in her 12 seasons in Las Cruces, and this year’s squad has been no different.

After scoring another run in the bottom of the second to extend to 4-0, CSUB (13-30, 5-7 WAC) scored a run in the top of the third inning with a Chris Hipa single that forced two Aggie errors and led to Alex Simmons scoring on the play. With the score 4-1, the Aggie offense exploded in the bottom half of the inning.

Tatum Reedy began the inning with a three-run home run of her own off of CSUB pitcher Alyssa Stockton to put the score at 7-1. It was her eighth of the season. That was only the beginning of the scoring for the inning. Emma Adams hit a double three batters later and it scored Rodriguez and Brennalyn Nakamura to extend the lead to 9-1.

Pinch-hitter Kennedy Johnson smashed a three-run homer later in the inning that scored Fiana Finau and Adams. That capped off an eight-run inning for the Aggies and put them in control of the game and Donisthorpe coasted from that point forward. The win gave coach Rodolph her 400th victory at New Mexico State.

“To be able to capture my 400th win here at home on senior weekend makes it all that much more special,” says Rodolph. “I remember that first season here (when NM State went 14-49) like it was yesterday, and we’ve come a long way with phenomenal young ladies that believed in the vision we had here. Without phenomenal kids, we wouldn’t have been able to turn this around.”

Senior Makayla McAdams (13-8) started at pitcher for the Aggies in the second game, and followed Donisthorpe’s solid performance with one of her own. She allowed one run and three hits on 53 pitches.

“When we started this season, we graduated roughly 60 home-runs, so we knew that the most experienced piece of our team was our pitching, and they needed to anchor down while our offense was getting their feet under them, and they’ve done just that,” says Rodolph.

Victoria Castro (1 for 4, RBI) tripled in the home half of the second inning that brought in pitch-runner Jovanni Felix to score. Nakamura (1 for 3, run scored) then hit a rare bunt double and Castro reached third on the play. Castro then scored on a wild pitch that advanced Nakamura to third, and Amy Bergeson (0 for 2, RBI) brought in Nakamura on a groundout a few pitches later to put the score at 3-0 through two innings. CSUB answered in the next half inning with a run on a Julea Cavazos single up the middle that scored Kaylynn Burt.

Freshman pitcher Kayla Green came on in a relief appearance for the second day in a row, and did a great job, despite getting herself in trouble in the top of the seventh inning trying to close the game. She allowed a two-out triple to Burt that scored Jo Larios for the ‘Runners, and with Burt on third and the tying run at the plate, Rodolph brought in Donisthorpe to try to get the one-out save and did just that to cap off the 4-2 win.

Saturday marked the last time seniors Fiana Finau, Tatum Reedy, Makayla McAdams, Karysta Donisthorpe, Brennalyn Nakamura, and Emma Adams took the field at the New Mexico State softball complex. Looking ahead, NM State will face UMKC in a three-game series next weekend in Kansas City and travel to Albuquerque to face the University of New Mexico on May 3.

Derek Gonzales can be reached at gordooo5@nmsu.edu

Follow Round Up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports

 

Aggies win vs. CSU-Bakersfield

The Aggie softball team won the first of three games against CSU-Bakersfield this weekend.

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Photo by Derek Gonzales.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

The New Mexico State softball team started off their last home series of the season with a 6-5 win over Cal-State Bakersfield on Friday evening at the New Mexico State softball complex.

The ‘Runners (13-27, 5-5 WAC) scored at the top of the first with a Chris Hipa single that scored Julea Cavazos. The game went into a lightning delay midway through the bottom of the first, and the game didn’t resume for an hour and 20 minutes.

When play resumed, it didn’t take long for NM State (30-19, 9-1 WAC) to take the lead back. In the bottom of the second inning, Corrin Green (0 for 2, walk) reached first base by way of a walk that was issued by CSU-Bakersfield starting pitcher Amber Mills (6-12). Victoria Castro (1 for 2, RBI) followed that with a single, and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for senior Tatum Reedy. Playing in her last collegiate series in Las Cruces, she smashed a Mills pitch to straight center-field for a grand slam.

That gave NM State a 4-1 lead. From there, Aggie starting pitcher Makayla McAdams (12-8) didn’t allow CSU-Bakersfield to take the lead, but she did give up five runs in 4.1 innings pitched. CSU-Bakersfield scored a couple of runs in the top of the third inning to trim the Aggie lead to one at 4-3, but NM State answered with a couple of runs of their own at the bottom of the inning to stretch the lead back out to 6-3.

In the top of the fifth, CSU-Bakersfield struck again twice. ‘Runner short-shop Alex Simmons hit a triple into the a right-center field alley, scoring Cavazos. That was all for McAdams, as she was relieved by freshman Kayla Green. After throwing two changeups to Hipa, Green tried to blow a fastball by her, but Hipa was able to hit a blooper past Aggie short-shop Haley Nakamura and it scored Simmons to put the score at 6-5.

After that, neither team posed a scoring threat for the rest of the game, as Green was excellent in her relief appearance, only allowing two hits, and she was able to pick up for first career save in the process.

NM State will play CSU-Bakersfield in a doubleheader tomorrow at the New Mexico State softball complex with the first game beginning at four p.m., with the second game beginning approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

Derek Gonzales can be reached at gordooo5@nmsu.edu

Follow Round Up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports

Aggie Softball sweeps Seattle in conference series Opener

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Photo by Derek Gonzales.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

The defending WAC Champion New Mexico State softball team has come back after an 11-day break to string together three straight wins to open up conference play. NM State won both games of the Saturday doubleheader by scores of 2-0 and 5-0 at the New Mexico State softball complex after winning Friday’s series opener, 12-0.

NM State (23-16) leaned on the superb pitching of senior Karysta Donisthorpe in the first game against Seattle (14-22), as she was able to throw a complete game shutout, only allowing three hits. She earned her seventh win of the year, and lowered her ERA to 2.83 in the process.

“It was a great feeling to get that (good defensive play) from everybody, and it was nice to see everybody come out and do their job,” says Donisthorpe. “Coach has really worked with us this past week on three-pitch sequences, and it helped us out a lot. It (The 11-day break) helped us focus on little details, and it helped us get everything back on track.”

Offensively, NM State generated both runs in the second inning, when catcher Tatum Reedy (1 for 2) was able to get a single off of Redhawk starting pitcher Andie Larkins with two outs. Reedy then advanced to second on a passed ball, and freshman Victoria Castro (1 for 2 with an RBI) brought her home with a triple into the left-center field gap. Infielder Amy Bergeson (1 for 2 with an RBI) then grounded a single passed the third baseman, scoring Castro.

That’s all Donisthorpe would need in her start, as the Farmington, New Mexico native got herself in only one jam, with that being in the sixth inning. Runners were able to reach second and third with two outs, but Donisthorpe forced Redhawk infielder Rose Saenz to line out to left field to end the scoring threat.

Freshman Kayla Green started in the circle for NM State in the series finale, and she continued her outstanding season with another quality start, in which she went five innings, allowing no runs and three hits after dealing with the flu the past couple of days. She improved her record to 6-2 on the year and helped the Aggies improve to 13-0 all-time against the Redhawks.

“We’ve spent a lot of practice time to try and come up with easier ways to get in a rhythm in the circle, and the flow of the game seems a lot easier,” says head coach Kathy Rodolph. “To throw three consecutive shut-outs is something that we weren’t able to do last year, and I think that shows where our mindset is as a team, because it’s one thing to get ahead and win, but it’s another to hold strong when runners are in scoring position. I was really proud of us for doing that.”

Aggie RBI leader Fiana Finau (3 for 3) began the scoring in the bottom of the first when she brought in freshman Kelsey Horton (2 for 3 including two-run home runs) for her 37th RBI, via a groundball single that squeezed passed the second baseman to center-field.

Both starting pitchers settled in after that point, as Seattle starter Alyssa Reuble and Green didn’t allow another run until the bottom of the fourth inning where NM State tacked on a couple more runs. Finau started the rally off with a lead-off single, and Reedy (1 for 3) followed suit with a single to right-center, and Finau advanced to third and Reedy advanced to second on the throw. Castro was able to produce a sacrifice fly to bring home Finau and advance Reedy to third, where a Nue Sivia sacrifice fly scored Reedy to bring the NM State lead to 3-0.

The following inning, Horton got ahold of a Reuble pitch and sent it over the left-field wall for a two-run home-run, her 11th on the year to increase the Aggie lead to 5-0.

Senior pitcher Makayla McAdams came on in the top of the sixth to relieve Green, and was able to keep the Redhawks scoreless through two innings of work as she finished off the conference opening sweep for the Aggies.

NM State outscored Seattle 19-0 in the three-game series and only allowed 10 hits in a dominant conference opening weekend. Looking ahead, NM State heads to Tucson this Wednesday to face the Arizona Wildcats in a mid-week doubleheader. The next time the Aggies play at the NM State softball complex will be April 22-23 as they face Cal-State Bakersfield in the final home series of the year.

Derek Gonzales can be reached at gordooo5@nmsu.edu

Follow Round Up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports

Could there have been any more Madness this March?

How has the college basketball scene been changed by a frenetic March?

UNI's Jesperson
Photo from CBSSports.com.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

What. A. Month.

As March ends, we can finally catch our breath and gather our thoughts after the month brought us some of the most exhilarating moments of the basketball year. The round of 64 saw 10 double-seeded teams win a game, the most ever in the NCAA Tournament. Eight teams seeded 11th or worse won a game, and 13 games saw the lower-seeded team win. So much for that perfect bracket, right?

How We Got Here:

Let’s start with selection Sunday. Syracuse, who was coming off a 19-13 regular season in arguably the country’s toughest conference, was considered to be on the outside looking in. Though they ended the season losing five out of six, they were a considerably different team with Hall of Famer Jim Boeheim on the side line. (15-8 with Boeheim, 4-5 while he served nine game suspension.) That was enough to gain a 10 seed in the Midwest Region. Tulsa inexplicably was given an at-large bid with a pedestrian 20-11 record with its best win being against a Wichita State team that finished the regular season unranked.

As the first day of the tournament began, #2 seeded Michigan State faced #15 seeded Middle Tennessee State out of Conference USA. Michigan State featured Wooden National Player of the Year finalist Denzel Valentine, and 40 percent of ESPN brackets had the Spartans going to the Final Four. None of that meant much to the Blue Raiders, as they shocked America with a 90-81 win, becoming only the eighth 15th seed to move past the first round.

Northern Iowa beat top-ranked North Carolina early this year as well as Wichita State, and faced a Texas squad in the 6-11 matchup in the West region that had a surprisingly good year under first-year coach Shaka Smart. After Longhorn guard Isaiah Taylor tied the game at 72 with a drive to the basket with 1.7 seconds left, UNI’s Paul Jesperson took the inbounds pass and heaved a shot from half-court, banking it in and sending the Panthers onto the next round and put an abrupt end to Texas’ season.

You would think that Northern Iowa would be out of magic after the Texas game, but they faced three-seeded Texas A&M in the next round. Coach Billy Kennedy and the Aggies were back in the tournament for the first time in five years, but it appeared that they would be going back to College Station when they were down 69-57 with 35 seconds left. A&M applied vicious full-court pressure and it caused UNI to turn the ball over four times, none of which passed half-court, and the (other) Aggies scored 14 points in those 35 seconds to send the game into overtime. A&M would finally complete one of the greatest comebacks in NCAA history with a 92-88 double overtime win.

Looking Ahead:

As the Final Four approaches this weekend, who could have possibly had North Carolina, Oklahoma, Syracuse, and Villanova as the teams playing for the title in Houston? 1,140 ESPN bracket entries had these four teams in the Final Four, out of 13 million submitted brackets (.009 percent).

Syracuse has to be the most surprising team, the 10-seed that was on the bubble on Selection Sunday, and their 13 losses this season are tied for the most ever by a Final Four team. They went on a 21-2 run in the second half against top-seeded Virginia to turn a 56-43 deficit into a 64-58 lead en route to the win in the Regional Final.

Oklahoma flies into Houston on a high after beating the West Region’s top-seeded Oregon Ducks 80-68 in the Elite Eight. They have the tournament’s leading scorer in senior guard Buddy Hield, who is averaging 29.2 points in the four tournament games. Coach Lon Kruger is experienced in this situation, having led Florida to their first Final Four in 1994.

Villanova boasts a stingy defense that was key in beating Kansas 64-59 in the Elite Eight. The wildcats are ranked 15th in the nation in scoring defense and have five seniors in their rotation who contribute, including talented point guard Ryan Arcidiacono, and they’re only allowing 63.6 points per game, so it will be a classic offense vs. defense clash against the Sooners on Saturday.

North Carolina was the only one-seeded team able to survive the madness of the tournament to make it to Houston. As the pre-season number one team, they have had ups and downs, but appear to be peaking at the right time after averaging 89.2 points a game, up six points from their regular season average. Senior Marcus Paige is shooting the ball well, with a 48 percent average thus far in the tournament. They are imposing their up-tempo style on each team they face and are the Las Vegas favorite to come away with the title.

As it is sad to see March come to a close, it will be one to remember as this year’s Big Dance brought us more heart-wrenching moments than we have ever seen. Enjoy these last two games that the Final Four brings us this weekend, because as this month proved, absolutely anything can happen, and that’s what March Madness is all about.

NMSU stages play about dictatorship and revolution

By Sante Guajardo

Staff Writer

New Mexico State University’s Theatre Arts Department started off  its 2016 season with a beautiful and emotion production of In the Time of the Butterflies by Caridad Svich.

The story takes place in the Dominican Republic and is based around the four Mirabal sisters during the reign of dictator Rafael Trujillo.  As they grow up, the sisters must each decide if they will only stand by or take action in the revolution against Trujillo.

The play is based on the 1994 novel, which is based on true events, by Julia Alvarez, who had lived in the Dominican Republic until her father got involved with the revolution against Trujillo, forcing Alvarez’s family out of the country.

Director Larissa Lury has done a beautiful job of portraying this work.  The set is designed in such a unique way that it not only provides a setting on stage for the actors, but illustrates the story as if the audience was a part of it.  The play features some outstanding actors, Monika Mojica, Stephanie Vasquez Fonseca, Stephanie Drake, Daniela Castorena, Parigrynne Cox, and Joey Rodriguez , who give the play life and emotion.  These actors give the audience reason to fall in love with the characters and really get invested in the show.

I highly recommend this beautiful piece of work that will leave you moved and stunned.

There are four showings left, with one on March 10 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m., and the show closes on Sunday, March 13, at two p.m.

Make sure to get there ahead of time to buy your tickets.

For more information about the NMSU theater and ways to contact them about current and upcoming shows: Go to http://www.nmsutheatre.com/

Aggies defeat UNM in first meeting of season

The Aggies beat the Lobos in the 240th edition of the Battle of I-25.

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Photo by Derek Gonzales.

By Derek Gonzales

Staff Writer

In the 240th edition of the Battle of I-25 between New Mexico State and University of New Mexico on the diamond took place at Southwest University Park in El Paso, Texas, home of the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas. NM State, who has five players on the roster from the El Paso area, was able to cruise past the Lobos en route to a 9-6 win in front of 1,130 fans on Tuesday evening.

“It was awesome, the playing surface was off the charts, so it was a good night for us, and anytime you can beat the Lobos, everybody is going to get excited,” says Head Coach Brian Green, whose team continues a remarkable turnaround after going 10-38 just a year ago.

NM State (8-6), scored three runs in the first inning, another three in the second, and one more in the third, and did not look back after that.

The three Aggie runs in the bottom of the first were all unearned, as UNM (6-5) committed two errors in the opening inning. The Aggies came into the day second in the WAC in batting average at .293, and scored nine runs on 12 hits in the game.

“Being aggressive doesn’t mean going out there and swinging out of our shoes, it means that when you’re in there (at-bat), you’re ready to go, and I thought our guys did a really nice job of swinging early in the count,” says Green.

In the bottom of the second inning, Joseph Koerper and El Paso-native Cameron Haskins, (grandson of legendary UTEP basketball coach Don Haskins) both got on base to begin the inning, and infielder L.J. Hatch smashed the first pitch of the at-bat from UNM starter James Harrington into the right-center field gap, scoring Koerper and Haskins, while Hatch turned on the jets to reach third base for a triple. Brent Sakurai then grounded out to second base, but the play scored Hatch, extending the NM State lead to 6-0 after two innings.

NM State starting pitcher Dalton Shalberg had a solid outing on the mound on Tuesday for the Aggies, going only 3.2 innings, but was efficient with 43 strikes on 75 pitches while allowing four earned runs.

“He gave us a good effort, and almost got us into the fifth (inning), which is all you can really ask for when playing a midweek game,” Green says.

With NM State jumping out to the seven-run lead through three innings, it appeared that UNM was overmatched by an improved Aggie team that exchanged blowout wins with them last year, but the Lobos were resilient and were able to get back into the game.

Lobo infielder Dalton Bowers started the fourth inning off with a double, and Lu Gonzalez brought him home via single, and Chris DeVito then jacked a two-run homerun off of Shalberg, trimming the Aggie lead to 7-4.

The Lobos then tacked on a run by way of a balk call against Aggie reliever Andy Frakes on a play where it appeared that Frakes faked a pick-off throw to the runner on third base, and threw to first to try to get that pick-off, which is legal, but the umpire did not rule that way, and Lobo Dan Collier scored on the ruling to shrink the Aggie lead to two at 7-5.

UNM was unable to get closer, as the Aggie offense scored a couple more runs to keep the Lobos at bay and were able to get a win in the first of four meetings with the Lobos this year. Five players recorded multiple hits for NM State, and three raked in multiple RBIs.

NM State continues their nine-game road swing this weekend when they face the Baylor Bears and San Diego Toreros in Waco, Texas. Their next game at Presley Askew Field will be March 24-26, when they begin WAC-play against Chicago State.

“We are in the gauntlet, and our kids knew it last week that we had a tough stretch ahead, so to get this win, we now have a little confidence that we can go toe-to-toe with a high-caliber team,” Green says.

Derek Gonzales can be reached at gordooo5@nmsu.edu

Follow Round Up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports

 

NBA Week 20

Catch up on the NBA with sports editor Albert Luna’s weekly column.

By Albert Luna

Sports Editor

The rematch of Thunder-Warriors was not even the biggest game of the weekend for the NBA. Somehow on a Sunday matinee match, the Lakers, with their 12 wins, took down the Warriors, who went into the match with 55 victories, for the biggest regular season upset in NBA history ( by win percentage). We also saw this week the bottom three teams in the Western conference playoff picture simply refusing to win a ball game against beatable opponents (looking at you, Mavericks, Jazz, and Rockets). Let’s get right to it, here are three things I like and don’t like, plus power rankings.

Like: The Spurs are creeping up

Don’t look now, but after that dud of a performance—the Warriors against the Lakers on Sunday—the Spurs are a mere two games back in the loss column for the number-one seed, their closet margin since the season began. Although they have nine losses to Golden State’s still historic six losses, it is worth noting that the Spurs and Warriors still play each other three more times this season, with two of the three taking place in San Antonio, where the Spurs are still undefeated, being just the third team in history to start a season 30-0 at home, the other two, (Bulls, Magic) both went on to the NBA Finals. The only problem, the Warriors are sitting at 26-0 at home, as well.

Don’t Like: Kobe is starting to break down

Kobe Bryant has missed three of his past five games, and in the two games he has been able to play in, he has played just a total of 37 minutes in those contests, which was his season average just seven years ago in minutes per game. 37 minutes in 10 days for a “sore shoulder” certainly doesn’t sound good for Bryant. Luckily for him, he has the majority of the next five weeks of his final season at home, as he’s made it a point to say that he wanted to play in most road games this year since it would be his last time playing in that city. His 37-year-old body simply doesn’t seem to be up to the task to carry the legend to play in the remaining games left in his career. Here’s hoping that he can.

Don’t Like: No one wants to make the playoffs?

The Western conference has been a mess after the top four teams (Warriors, Spurs, Thunder, and Clippers). Taking out the Grizzlies, who have done a great job of keeping things in tact after losing Marc Gasol for the season, the four teams fighting for three playoff spots have been mediocre to say the least. The Mavs, Blazers (who fizzled this week after being the hottest team in the league), Rockets, and Jazz are all not taking advantages of opportunities. A perfect example of this is the Mavs blowing a four-point lead with less than 14 seconds left and somehow not being able to inbound a ball, as they dropped an ugly loss to the Nuggets on Sunday afternoon.

Top 10

  • Golden State Warriors—A seven-game winning streak has been snapped and the Warriors will need to go 18-3 in their final 21 games to break the Bulls’ record for best team of all time. However, they have one of the harder schedules in the league in that span.
  • San Antonio Spurs—As mentioned, the Spurs are inching closer to the Warriors in the standings, and the same is true for them in these power rankings. The next few weeks should be interesting.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers—Winners of seven of their last 10 games, the Cavs had a good week’s worth of games, yet seem to be having some chemistry issues in the locker room still.
  • Toronto Raptors—An ugly loss on Sunday that saw them blow a big lead to the lowly Rockets left a sour taste in the Raptors’ mouths after some quality wins against Western conference teams this week.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder—A win versus the Bucks on Sunday stopped the bleeding for the Thunder, who went into the contest with the third-worst record since the all-star break, and blew a big lead on Wednesday night versus the Clippers.
  • Los Angeles Clippers—A big win versus the Thunder might as well be meaningless if the Clippers are going to turn around and lose to the Hawks at home. Consistency will be a major point of emphasis.
  • Miami Heat—Winners of five straight, the Heat are the hottest team in the East right now. One has to imagine just how scary this team would look with a healthy Chris Bosh, who seems to be getting further and further from returning to play this season.
  • Boston Celtics—The Celtics might just be benefiting from an easy schedule or simply just catching teams on the wrong night, but they seem to look like a legit top-four team in the East. Credit to Brad Stevens.
  • Memphis Grizzles—As mentioned, I have no idea how Memphis is staying so sharp after the loss of their best play for the season, but it doesn’t hurt to have Mike Conley on your team, who has come alive after a bad start to the season.
  • Atlanta Hawks—The Hawks are quietly now at 35 wins on the year and might be able to make a push at a least a 50 win season for the second year in a row if they can handle opponents down the stretch.

Be sure to check next week, same time, and same place, for the next installment of the NBA Column.

Albert Luna may be reached at Aluna32@NMSU.edu

Make sure to follow Round up Sports on Twitter at: @RoundUp_Sports