Sunday, April 26, 2015

UTPA Broncs Offense Comes to Life in 5-2 Victory over Northern Colorado (April 25, 2015)



Edinburg, TX - Looking to avenge a ninth inning collapse in Game 1 or their series with Northern Colorado, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs exploded for a big first inning in route to a 5-2 victory on Saturday for their second WAC win of 2015.

"We've been playing a little bit better the last couple of weekends," said Broncs coach Manny Mantrana, "We gotten some timely hitting, which is important. The bullpen is starting to throw well."

The Broncs (15-24-1, 2-14-1 in WAC) have played some of their best baseball of late after a very rough stretch to open WAC play. Fresh off of devastating ninth inning collapse to open the series, the Broncs struck early an often to secure a pivotal win and avoid series sweep.

The Bears (14-22, 10-7 in WAC) had hoped to continue the momentum from their come ninth inning rally to put the Broncs away early and pick up their fourth WAC series victory.

Northern Colorado opened the scoring in the top of the first one run on a Marco Castilla that scored Reyn Sugai from third.

UTPA would respond in the home half of the inning, scoring four runs on four hits, including a two run single by Victor Garcia Jr, to take a 4-1 lead.

"Any crooked number in any inning is a good thing," said Mantrana, "We were able to jump out early on and held on pretty much the entire game and were in control through all nine innings."

The Bears struck again in the second, capitalizing on a single by Jake Elk to score Nick Tanner from third, and cut the UTPA lead to 4-2.

UTPA would conclude the scoring in the bottom of the seventh, riding a Cole Loncar triple to plate one additional run , extending their lead to 5-2.

Loncar, who has been hitting very well of late, turned in another great 3-4 performance. His emergence has been a welcome addition to the Broncs offense, but it hasn't come easily.

"It been good, I was seeing the ball really big," said Loncar, "I working on a lot of things recently at practice. It's a good feeling."

From their Mantrana will would turn to freshman Johnny Gonzalez in the ninth, and he would make the most of the opportunity, picking up is first career save.

"It feels good," said Gonzalez, "If been pitching really well of late. Hopefully it continues and we keep getting the wins. It feels good, getting our second win in the WAC, we're gonna starign getting it going"

The Broncs will look to pick up their first WAC series win on Sunday when they host the Bears in final game of their series at 12:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

UTPA Broncs WAC Struggles Continue in 10-8 Loss to Northern Colorado Bears (April 24-25, 2014)




Edinburg, TX - Looking to bounce back from one of the slowest starts in recent history, the University Texas-Pan American Broncs faltered late to the Northern Colorado Bears in a 10-8 lightening delayed slugfest from Edinburg Baseball Stadium.

The Broncs (14-24-1, 1-14-1 in WAC) are 1-2-1 in their last four games after opening the conference season with twelve straight losses. They have yet to win a WAC series in 2015. In their last series, against Chicago State, the Broncs picked up a series split, going 1-1-1.

The Bears (14-21, 10-6 in WAC) are off to one of their best start as a member of the WAC after 4-23 campaign in 2014.

UNC would open the scoring in the top of the first, using a blast by left center by Cole Maltese to open up a 3-0 lead.

UTPA would break onto the board in the home half of the second plating 2 runs on 2 hits. The first run would come on a wild pitch by Spencer Applebach that allowed Correy Davis scamper home for third.

Two batters later, a sacrifice fly by Jacob Huckabay brought Jesus Garcia in to cut the deficit to just 3-2.

The Broncs would tack on four more runs in the bottom of the 3rd, capitalizing on a RBI single by Correy Davis, a bases clearing double by Victor Garcia Jr, and a balk to take a 6-3 lead.

The Bears respond with three runs of their own in the 4th, all of which came on bomb to left by Jensen Park, pulling the match even at 6-6.

UTPA would retake the lead at 8-6 in the home half of the 4th, plating two runs on a sac bunt by Scott Mercer and an RBI single by Cole Loncar.

UNC came raring back in the top of the ninth, plating 4 runs against Broncs closer Andrew Pardon to retake the lead at 10-8.

The Broncs looked prepared to mount a comeback, however, a sudden outbreak of thunder storms would push the game into delay at 10:23 p.m.

The game would not resume until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, when the Broncs put two men on with two outs. The rally would soon falter however as a deep fly out by Victor Garcia Jr. would end the inning and give the Bears the clutch victory.

Game 2 of the series would begin just 15 minutes later.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

UTPA Broncs Drop Series Finale to Seattle University Redhawks 4-0 (March 29, 2015)



Edinburg, TX - In the wake of two sub-par defensive performances to open their first home Western Athletics Conference season, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs offense fell flat in a hard fought 4-0 loss to the Seattle University Redhawks on Sunday.

Riding a pair of stellar pitching performances, the Broncs and Redhawks would labor through an all out defensive slugfest for six full innings, before a few gently placed hits tore the game open late.

"Like I told them," said Broncs coach Manny Mantrana, "when we are struggling like we are now, that is what's going to happen. It's just a matter of making sure that we keep grinding and we keep working."

The Broncs (11-14, 0-6) are in familiar territory, having been in a similar situation to start WAC play in 2014. They would go on to win six of their next seven weekend series to finish third in the WAC behind runaway leader Sacramento State and emerging power Grand Canyon University.

To keep a similar hope alive they desperately needed to close their series with Seattle on a high note. That hope would need reach fruition, however, as two Redhawk hurlers would combine to hold the UTPA to just three hits in the series ending shutout.

The Redhawks (12-14, 5-1) have been on a complete offensive tear of late, destroying the UTPA pitching staff in the first two games of the series to score 25 runs.

Sunday would be a different story as the Redhawks would fail to bunch together hits against a resurgent UTPA defense that turned three double plays to persevere in the tight contest.

Seattle would open the scoring in the top of the 7th, using a double by Griffin Andreychuk and a single by Griffin Stober, to give the Redhawks a 2-0 lead.

After UTPA made a call to the pen to open the eight, the Redhawks would go to work against reliever Matt Rigby, extending their lead to 4-0 on back-to-back RBI singles.

That lead would be more than enough as Tarik Skubal and Ted Hammond would combine to pitch clean eighth and ninth innings to clinch the series sweep.

Hammond would make a strong argument for pitcher of the week, finishing the game having allowed no runs on three hits in 7.1 innings of work.

"He located the fastball pretty good," said Mantrana, "kept it down on both sides of the plate and really kept us off guard."

Broncs starter Ryan Jackson, would also finish with a great stat line, despite picking up the loss, allowing just two runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings of work.

"I was keeping all my pitches low," said Jackson, "keeping them down at the knees really helped me out."

UTPA will get a day off on Monday before taking the field for game on Tuesday against the Incarnate Word University Cardinals and then a three game series against the Grand Canyon Lopes beginning on Thursday.

Looking at that series Mantrana know his team is in for another hard fought matchup, saying, "Grand Canyon has a really good team. We're gonna have to play better. But, again it's a matter of grinding through this little lull."

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Preview: UTPA Broncs Look to Avoid Sweep in Sunday Matinee Against Seattle Redhawks (May 29, 2015)



Edinburg, TX -  Following back-to-back poor defensive performances, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Baseball team will look to remedy what ails them on Sunday when the try to avoid the second straight series sweep in a matinee game against the Seattle Redhawks from Edinburg Baseball Stadium.

The Broncs (11-13 0-5 in WAC) have struggled in almost every aspect of the game accept offensively, a troubling trend given how good they have been historically on defense.

As has been discussed previously, part of those struggles can be attributed to their youth up the middle with freshman Isaac Gonzales starting at shortstop and former shortstop Jesus Garcia now manning the territory at second base.

Gonzalez, who by all accounts should be a more than serviceable starter at shortstop, was thrust in to the starting role right before conference play after the departure of junior college transfer Tony Roque for personal reasons.

He seems to make some of the more difficult plays, but recently started to muff what appear to be standard hard hit balls.

Even after an especially tough pair of outings on Friday and Saturday, his team mates still speak positively about the skills he brings to the field every night.

His partner in the middle infield, Garcia, knows that the struggle can get to any freshman, but had high praise saying, "He's a great player and he's going to do great things. In the end I have confidence in him. Their is not much else you can say about him."

The Redhawks (11-14, 4-1 in WAC) have continued explode from the plate and have sparked a 10-6 run over their last 16 games to pull very close to .500 after an abysmal 1-8 start.

Seattle has shown an innate  ability to plate runs in droves, especially when their team speed is aided by their opponent allowing extra runners on the base paths.

Look for the Redhawks to pull out all the stop offensively as they try to close out the series sweep and capitalize on the Broncs already shaky defensive confidence.

The Broncs to minimize their defensive yips and hope to strike early behind the thunderous bat of Logan Landon, who's among WAC's best at over .400 with 4 HR's and 21 RBI's, and the emergent Correy Davis, 4-4 on Friday, and Jesus Garcia, 3-4 on Saturday, in what has been a solid offensive series.

UTPA turn the ball over to their much harelded freshman righty, Ryan Jackson, as the look to bounced back from this rough stretch.

The Broncs will look once again to break their winless streak against Seattle, which holds a 5-0 advantage dating back to a series sweep early last season.

If you can't make it out to the park catch the live video with UTPA's illustrious duo, Jonah Goldberg and Danny Elizondo here, or follow my live updates on here.

Make sure to check back after the game for a full recap right here on The Box Score Report.

UTPA Broncs Struggle Again in 16-6 Loss to Seattle Redhawks (March 28, 2015)


Edinburg, TX - Following a rough defensive performance that saw them commit five errors, issue five walks, and hit two batters in a 9-6 loss, the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs were plagued by defensive miscues again in a 16-6 loss to the Seattle Redhawks again on Saturday.

"We weren't locating," said Broncs coach Manny Mantra, "they did a really good job of hitting the ball. We didn't make some plays and they played a lot better than we did today."

The Broncs (11-13, 0-5 in WAC) are a team built around good pitching and solid defense, a fact which makes outings like their last two very difficult to manage.

UTPA has seen a much better effort from their offensive production, but that is all for naught when their defense fails to record routine outs.

The Redhawks (11-14, 4-1 in WAC) have likewise seen a dramatic uptick on their offensive production, averaging six runs over their last six games to go 5-1 over that span.

Seattle would continue that streak on Saturday, jumping all over the Broncs in the first to plate a staggering eight runs, and take a huge lead before UTPA even put on their batting helmets.

The inning would open with a sloppy error by freshman shortstop Isaac Gonzalez that allowed Landon Cray to reach base. Following a sac bunt by Griffin Andreychuk, eight of next nine Redhawks would reach base, using five hits, two walks, and a second error to rip the inning wide open.

Seattle would extend its lead to 9-0 in the second, using a Dalton Hurd single to score Brock Carpenter from third.

UTPA broke onto the board in the home half of the second, capitalizing on a lead off walk and a double by Victor Garcia Jr. to but two runs in scoring position with no outs.

 The next two batters, Manny Loredo and Scott Mercer would hit RBI grounders to second, cutting the deficit to 9-2.

The Redhawks would continue their offense assault in the top of the third, plating another run on a double by Sheldon Stober to extend their lead to 10-2.

The Broncs would get that run back in the bottom of the inning, riding a deep sac fly to right by Logan Landon that scored Jesus Garcia from second.

Seattle would come out roaring once again, scoring in their fourth straight inning, to extend their lead to 15-3. The Redhawks capitalized on three walks and three hits to score five more runs in the inning.

The largest of those hits being  a laser triple down the line in left field that cleared the bases with two outs.

UTPA would take another large hunk out of the Redhawks lead in the 5th plating, three more runs on two hits and a costly throwing error to pull within 15-6.

That would be a close as they would get however, as the Seattle added a run in the eight to extend their lead back to 10 runs at 16-6.

Seattle star second baseman Sheldon Stober had possibly the most complete games I've ever seen in quite awhile, going 4-6 with two runs, five RBI and a stolen base to come just a homerun short of hitting for they cycle in the lopsided victory.

Saturday was the second straight night that a player in this series came so close the cycle, after Correy Davis also came just a homerun short on Friday.

The Broncs and Redhawks will finish their series on Sunday with an 11:00 matinee from Edinburg Baseball Stadium.

UTPA will need to dig deep to try and avoid a series sweep by the Redhawks. Mantrana has been unhappy with his teams energy in the series so far noted that he wants his team to come out with more fight saying, "the will to win was much higher in their (Seattle) dugout then the will to win in our dugout. We need to fix that and that is what we spoke about after the game."

Preview: UTPA Broncs Look to Even Their Series with Seattle Redhawks on Saturday (March 18, 2015)


Edinburg, TX -  After a series opening 9-6  loss that saw a flurry of defensive lapses, The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Baseball team will look to pick of their first conference win of 2015 and event their series with the Seattle Redhawks Saturday at 6:00 p.m.

The Broncs (11-12, 0-4 in WAC) have struggled recently to bring the defensive intensity that was a hallmark to the teams success earlier in the year. Part of those struggles can be attributed to their youth with new faces in both the hot corner and at short stop.

The shortstop position has been especially troublesome, with Freshman Isaac Gonzalez thrust in to the starting role right before conference play after the departure of junior college transfer Tony Roque for personal reason.

Gonzalez has done his best to adjust to the added pressure of being the teams everyday shortstop but the growing pains are still evident.

After an especially tough outing on Friday, Bronc coach Manny Mantrana had positive things to say about his freshman's progress, saying, "He's young, he's still learning, but he is a good quality shortstop and I think the more he plays the better he is going to get."

The Redhawks (10-14, 3-1 in WAC) have started to find their groove, having gone 9-6 of their last 15 games after opening the by dropping seven of their first eight.

Seattle has the ability to plat runs in bunches, especially when their team speed is aided by their opponent allowing runners on the base paths.

Look for the Redhawks to employ of interesting swing and go strategies if UTPA continues to struggle with throwing out runners down the line to first.

Their bullpen is powered by two quality starts in Will Denis and Ted Hammond, who both sport sub 2.00 ERA's. It is of special note that no Seattle reliever has a save in 2015.

The Broncs to try once again, to strike early behind the thunderous bat of Logan Landon, who's among WAC's best at .468 with 4 HR's and 20 RBI's, and the emergent Correy Davis who was a perfect 4-4 on Friday while coming just a HR short of hitting for the cycle.

UTPA is also expecting strong showing from their pair of freshman hurlers, Ryan Jackson and Justin Quinones, as the look to bounced back from rough stretch of their own . Should they need him, closer Andrew Padron and his seven saves should be available all weekend.

The Broncs will look once again to break their winless streak against Seattle, which holds a 4-0 advantage dating back to a series sweep early last season.

If you can't make it out to the park catch the live video with UTPA's illustrious duo, Jonah Goldberg and Danny Elizondo here, or follow my live updates on here.

Make sure to check back after the game for a full recap right here on The Box Score Report.

UTPA Broncs Offense Arrives, But Defense Falters in 9-6 Loss to Seattle University (March 27, 2015)



Edinburg, TX - There are few things as valuable to momentum as a series opening victory. It places a pitching staff, and by association an entire team, in a much better position to secure a series win.

That is exactly what UTPA wanted to do on Friday, but their plans fell just short in a 9-6 loss to the Seattle University Redhawks to open the home portion of their Western Athletics Conference schedule.

"Tonight, offensively we were good," said Broncs coach Manny Mantrana, "We had some really good at bats. Unfortunately our pitching wasn't up to par and neither was our defense. When you don't pitch and you don't play defense it's tough to win."

The Broncs (11-12, 0-4 in WAC) were looking to build upon a thrilling 12-10 victory over Pacific University in their last outing. They were also looking for their first conference victory of 2015 after being swept on the road by Sacramento State to open the WAC season.

The Redhawks  (10-14, 3-1) have rebounded from a very slow start to position themselves among the best team in the WAC early season standings.

Defense was the star in the early going, as UTPA third baseman, Scott Mercer,  turned a pair of highlight reel plays in the top of the 1st, and both squad turned double plays in the first two innings keep the score board clean.

The runs would come in their own time and when they arrived they came in bunches, as both defenses shuttered under the pressure of tension filled situations.

UTPA would open the scoring in the bottom of the third, plating two runs on three hits to open up the a 2-0 lead. All three of those hits would come in order as Isaac Gonzalez, Cole Loncar, and Jesus Garcia led off the inning by reaching base.

Seattle would respond in the top of the fourth, plating three runs on a series walks and an error by the shortstop, to open up a 3-2 lead.

The Broncs would threaten in the bottom half of the inning, following a one out triple by Loncar. Unfortunately, they would be unable to muster a run as Seattle Will Dennis would strike out the next to batters he faced to end the inning.

The Redhawks would tack another run on in the top of the 5th, capitalizing on two hits to extend their lead to 4-2.

Riding their offense flurry, Seattle would tack on another three runs in the top of the sixth to push their lead over UTPA to a comfortable 6-2.

"The biggest thing was, I don't think we were all there on the defensive side," said Davis, "our offensive kind of picked up but it just wasn't enough."

UTPA would cut into that lead on the home half of the seventh, using a clutch single by Logan Landon to score Cole Loncar from third, to pull the score to 6-3.

The Redhawk offense would close it's scoring in the top of the eight, exploding for three more runs on two hits and a costly throwing error to extend their lead once again to 9-3.

That deficit would remain all the way into the bottom of the ninth, when the Broncs headed to the plate for the final time. The inning would go well as the Broncs loaded the bases with two outs before a pair of singles by Scott Mercer and Correy Davis scored three runs to shrink the score to 9-6.

That would be all they could muster, however, as the Redhawks forced a ground out by the next batter to secure the series opening victory.

Correy Davis led all Broncs offensively by going 4-4 with 1 RBI. Davis came just a homerun short of the hitting for the cycle.

"When we brought him (Davis) in, we hoped he would be hitting them with a lot of force," said Mantrana, "He's been working on a few mechanical things, and I think he beginning to figure it out. It was good to see him have a day like this, hopefully he can keep it up."

The Broncs and Redhawks will continue their series on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. when they square off in game two from Edinburg Baseball Stadium.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Preview: UTPA Broncs Baseball Open WAC home schedule against Seattle Redhawks (March 27, 2015)

 
Edinburg, TX - The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Baseball team will look to open the home portion of the Western Athletics Conference schedule with a bang on Friday at 7:00 p.m., when they play host to the Seattle Redhawks for a three game series.

The Broncs (11-11, 0-3 in WAC) are fresh off a 12-10 win over Pacific University that snapped a prior five game skid that included losses to #1 TCU and perennial WAC power Sacramento State.

Over that span, the Broncs were outscored by a margin of 47-25, as their team ERA rose to 4.12. That should be the hardest stretch the Broncs will face all season and positions them well for a run at the WAC title in 2015.

The Redhawks (9-14, 2-1 in WAC) have started to find their groove, having gone 8-6 of their last 14 games after opening the by dropping seven of their first eight.

Their most recent stretch of success includes series victories over Big 12 member Northwestern and their first WAC opponent of the year, Utah Valley.

Seattle is not a team filled with big bats, as no player has more than one homerun on the year. Look for the Redhawks to rely on the contact hitting prowess of leadoff man Sheldon Stober who sports a .326 average, with 1 HR, 3 triples, and 14 RBI.

Their bullpen is powered by two quality starts in Will Denis and Ted Hammond, who both sport sub 2.00 ERA's. It is of special note that no Seattle reliever has a save in 2015.

Look for the Broncs to try and strike early behind the thunderous bat of Logan Landon, who's among WAC's best at .468 with 4 HR's and 20 RBI's

UTPA is also expecting strong showing from senior righty Blake English who will open the series as the only Bronc starter with a sub 3.00 ERA. Should they need him, closer Andrew Padron and his seven saves should be available all weekend.

Friday mark the start of only the second series between the Broncs and Redhawks, with Seattle holding a 3-0 advantage dating back to a series sweep early last season.

If you can't make it out to the park catch the live video with UTPA's illustrious duo, Jonah Goldberg and Danny Elizondo here, or follow my live updates on here.

Make sure to check back after the game for a full recap right here on The Box Score Report.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Preview: UTPA Broncs Men's Basketball Close Regular Season By Hosting UMKC Kangaroos (March 7, 2015)


Edinburg, TX- In what will be their final home game as Broncs, coach Dan Hipsher and his The University of Texas-Pan American Men's Basketball team will take the floor on Saturday when they play host to the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos at 2:00 p.m.

The Broncs (9-20, 3-10 in WAC) will look to rebound from a three game losing skid in conference, following that included losses to Utah Valley, Grand Canyon, and New Mexico State over the last three weeks

UTPA still has a slim hope of finishing outside of last place, assuming they can pick up a win on Saturday and receive a little help from New Mexico State in their match with Chicago State.

The Roos (13-17, 8-5 in WAC) are on the cusp of securing the #2 seed in the WAC tournament, behind a recent two game winning streak.

Star guard Martez Harrison just eclipsed the 1,000 point career scorning mark and is among the leaders for WAC player of the year, along with New Mexico State big man Tshilidzi Nephawe and Seattle Isaiah Umipig.

 UTPA is lead offensively by sharp shooting sophomore Janari Joesaar, who among the WAC's best scorers at 17.6 ppg, while chipping in 6.9 rbs, 1.2 stls.

In the case of a Broncs win  and Chicago State Loss, UTPA would hold the tie breaker over Chicago State by way of their record against the WAC top teams.

Either way who would the Broncs play?

The "great scenario" minds at the WAC and UTPA's Jonah Golderg have been feverishly pounding away on their key boards and the results look like something out of a World War II cryptogram.

However, by all accounts it looks like UTPA will mostly likely, about an 80% chance, have a rematch with UMKC to open the WAC tournament.

 Look for Broncs to pound the ball inside to freshman forward Dan Kimasa in an attempt to develop and inside out flow like the one that helped them hand around against New Mexico State in their last outing.

The key for UTPA will be great offensive efficiency from Joesaar, Shaquille Boga, and at least one other scorer, while holding the New Mexico State offense at bay.

 UMKC is paced offensively by the afore mentioned Harrision who lead the WAC in both scoring and steals 17.8 points and 1.9 steals, while standing second with 3.9 assists per game.

Saturday's match will be the 17th meeting between these two schools, with the Broncs holding 9-7 advantage dating back to January 1988.

In their meeting earlier this season, the Roos had a very strong showing in a 70-45 win over UTPA in Kansas City.

If you are unable to make it out to game you can catch all the action The American Sports Network, here, or for live updates follow me on twitter as @smithkb.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

UTPA Broncs struggle late in 69-48 loss to New Mexico State Aggies (March 4, 2015)



Edinburg, TX - For about 33:00 it looked like the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Men's Basketball team was ready to shake up the WAC standings. However, a late push by New Mexico state left UTPA reeling in a 69-48 loss on Wednesday.

Powered by an above average defense performance and a very shrewd offensive scheme the Broncs pounded, slashed, gutted, and clawed to keep themselves within reach of perennial Western Athletics Conference front runner, New Mexico State.

"It's just a constant battle to get a rebound, to protect the rim, to fight them (New Mexico State) off the block," said Broncs coach Dan Hipsher, "We had a run were we scored on four straight possessions, but there in the end it just got away from us."

The Broncs (9-20, 3-10 in WAC) needed a win to badly to keep pace in the race for seeding in the WAC tournament next week, entering just percentage points behind Chicago State and Utah Valley for the 5th seed.

A win would have pulled the Broncs back into a tightly contest conference race, however their best laid plans weren't enough to over come a daunting Aggies front court that is chalked full of talent big men.

The Aggies (20-10, 12-1 in WAC) easily secured another regular season championship are primed to win their 4th straight WAC tournament title.

New Mexico State jumped out to an early 10-4 lead following a deep three by Ian Baker at the 15:19 mark.

Despite their sizeable efforts the Broncs struggled to find any footing on offense. Star forward Janari Joesaar was hounded every second of every possession and the Aggies focused on keep in contained and forcing other contributors to take control of the offense.

With that slight lead in hand the Aggies would do what they are known for, pounding the ball down to Tshilidzi Nephawe, capitalizing on the lack of size and the youth of their only true post presence Dan Kimasa.

"I give him credit," said Hipsher, "Dan's battling his tail off, he's working at it. He's just a rookie and we've gotta get more from some veterans to help him out."

Nephawe presence loomed large as he would account seven points and seven rebound in the opening twenty minutes, allowing New Mexico State to open up a deceptively large 32-22 lead.

UTPA would do a remarkable job of keep in the game close for most of the second half, using a 6-0 run to cut the Aggies lead to just 34-28 by the 17:17 mark on a pair of free-throws by Kimasa.

"It's tough," said Kimasa, "They (New Mexico State) are long, with more than three players over 6'10" it hard to break through. We need to do a better job of moving the ball and knocking down shots."

That lead would vascilate around eight points over the next ten minutes thanks to a above average shooting performance from Broncs serve guard Everett Osborne who went 3-5 from outside to keep the Broncs offense going.

"We definitely missed more shots then we wanted to today," said Osborne, "We found away to stop them at times, but we need to find an easier way to score and it going."

UTPA just never found away to take control, however, as New Mexico State's defense finally found it footing around the 7:00 mark to stifle the Broncs, forcing a flurry of turnovers in route to the decisive final.

Osborne would lead the Broncs in scoring with 13 points, while Kimasa came just one point and one rebound away from compiling another double-double in his record setting Freshman season.

For the Aggies it was all about Nephawe who lead all scorers with 19 points, while collected an alarming 14 rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

The loss makes that race just a little bit tougher, as the Broncs are now squarely in last place with one game to play.

UTPA will close it's regular season when they host the Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos on Saturday at 2:00.

Saturday game could have make implication for the tournament as a win and any number of losses by Seattle, UVU, Chicago State, or Grand Canyon could drastically effect the Broncs seeded in next weeks tournament.