MOSCOW, Idaho (Feb. 9)-The New Mexico State men's basketball team suffered a one-point loss at Idaho, 59-58, to snap a five-game win streak over the Vandals.
The Aggies fell to 17-8 and 6-3 in WAC play. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines and senior center Hamidu Rahman led the team 12 points each. Senior guard Hernst Laroche and junior forward Tyrone Watson supplied nine points each. Watson also had a career-high eight assists.
NM State had a late lead but Idaho inched its way back and pulled within one, 58-57, with 1:53 to play. The Aggies were without Laroche for the final 2:08 after he fouled out on an offensive foul. NM State maintained a lead until Idaho hit a jumper with five seconds to go.
In the second half, the Aggies used a 12-2 run to take a 51-43 lead with 9:21 to play. The NM State front court led the way in the rally with six points from McKines, four from junior forward Bandja Sy and two from Rahman.
The Aggies started the game with a solid defensive effort and caused seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes of action. The pressure led to a nine-point lead, 25-16, with 6:35 to play in the first half after a layup from junior forward Tyrone Watson.
A few late Aggie miscues allowed Idaho to even the game at the break, 31-31. Senior center Hamidu Rahman led all scorers with eight points. Watson added six points and five assists, while Laroche contributed five points and three assists.
NM State continues its road trip at Utah State, Saturday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. in Logan, Utah. The game is nationally televised on ESPN2 with Dave Fleming and Miles Simon.