LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Dec. 22)-The New Mexico State men's basketball team defeated Missouri State, 71-51, in its last tune-up before WAC play begins.
Freshman center Sim Bhullar scored a career-high 25 points to pace the Aggies (6-6). Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings recorded his eighth game in double-digits this season with 11 points. Senior forward Tyrone Watson contributed nine, and freshman forward Matej Buovac added eight points in his Aggie debut.
The Aggies utilized their size advantage and scored 30 points in the paint. NM State also shot 54.2 percent from the field (26-of-48). The Crimson and White defense was tough and only allowed the Bears (2-10) to shoot 33.3 percent from the field (19-of-57) including 14.3 percent from behind the arc (2-of-14).
At halftime, the Aggies posted a 34-23 lead behind eight points from Buovac. He was 3-for-3 from the field including a pair of 3-pointers. Bhullar had seven points, and Mullings added five. The Aggies shot 50 percent from the field (14-of-28) and hit 44.4 percent (4-of-9) from the 3-point line in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Aggies open WAC play on the road for the third straight year. NM State plays at UT Arlington, Saturday, Dec. 29 at 6 p.m. and Louisiana Tech, Monday, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m.