CSUB vs Utah Vly MBB33

CSUB's Greg Lee (21) battles with Utah Valley's Isaiah White during the second half of a Jan. 5 game.

Cal State Bakersfield men’s basketball will put its first place position and 3-0 record in the Western Athletic Conference to the test at perennial conference powerhouse New Mexico State.

The Roadrunners (11-5, 3-0 WAC) are at the top of the conference after beating Seattle and Utah Valley at home in the first week of WAC play, and then beating Texas-Rio Grande Valley on Thursday. The Aggies (12-4, 1-1) beat Grand Canyon on a half-court buzzer-beater on Thursday.

The CSUB-NMSU matchup is set for a 3 p.m. tipoff from the Pan American Center.

“If we can somehow win one game, I think it puts us in a very good position,” CSUB head coach Rod Barnes said before leaving for UTRGV. “I think if we win two games, we probably start moving to the possibility of being in the driver’s seat in our league just because I just think it’s gonna be that tough (to get road wins).”

New Mexico State has recently been the team to beat in the WAC. The Aggies have won five of the last six WAC Tournament titles. CSUB is just 2-15 against NMSU all-time.

Led by junior college transfer Ivan Aurrecoechea, the Aggies are 18th in the nation with a 7.9 rebounding margin. Aurrecoechea leads NMSU with 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

“New Mexico State is one of those teams that they’re capable of going any way,” Barnes said. “They can go with a smaller team. They can go with a bigger team. They can play zone. They press you. … They’re deep and athletic and they’re big.”

CSUB women’s basketball hosts New Mexico State

CSUB women’s basketball will try to string two wins together for the first time since its first two games of the season when New Mexico State comes to the Icardo Center for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday.

The Roadrunners (6-10, 2-1 WAC) outscored UTRGV by 12 in the fourth quarter on Thursday to come back and win, 68-63. It was just CSUB’s second win in 10 games. The other win came over 0-15 Seattle.

NMSU (9-6, 1-1) senior guard Brooke Salas is second in the WAC in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game.

Jon Mettus can be reached at 661-395-7389. Follow him on Twitter: @jmettus.

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