ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Dec. 15)-The New Mexico State men's basketball team fell at No. 17/20 New Mexico, 73-58. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scored a team-high 14 points for the Aggies (5-5).
Freshman center Sim Bhullar and sophomore guard Terrel de Rouen added nine points each, while sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller had eight.
The first 20 minutes of action was a half filled with runs. Down eight, 16-8, with 12:23 to play in the first half, the Aggie defense increased the pressure. NM State used a 6-1 rally to cut UNM's lead to 17-14 on a fast break dunk from senior forward Bandja Sy at 9:22. de Rouen also hit a 3-pointer from the corner to spark the Aggies off the bench in the run.
After the Lobos countered with an 11-2 run to take a 28-16 lead with 5:33 left in the first half, the Aggies hit the next three shots with scoring from the bench. Junior forward Renaldo Dixon supplied a three-point play and sophomore forward Remi Barry added a 3-pointer to trim UNM's lead to six, 30-24, at the 3:20 mark of the first half. The bench contributed 13 points for the Aggies in the first half.
NM State trailed UNM, 39-37, at the break with Mullings leading the Crimson and White with seven points. Dixon and de Rouen each added five points on 2-of-3 shooting.
Cold shooting in the second half hampered the comeback as the Aggies only made three of their first 17 shots in the second period. NM State then made 4-of-6 shots with five points from Mullings and a 3-pointer from de Rouen to cut UNM's lead to 67-55 with 4:04 to play. NM State shot 26.7 percent from the field in the second half (8-of-30).
The Aggies return home for a pair of game before the WAC slate begins. NM State hosts New Mexico, Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. inside the Pan American Center in the rivalry rematch. The Aggies also meet Missouri State, Saturday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in Las Cruces.