Corvallis, Ore. (Nov. 11)-The New Mexico State men's basketball opened the 2012-13 season with a 71-62 loss at Oregon State in the Sports 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
The Aggies had three players in double figures with senior forward Tyrone Watson and sophomore guard Daniel Mullings scoring 14 points each. Senior forward Bandja Sy nearly had a double-double with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe added nine points and seven rebounds.
Early in the first half, the Aggies steadily built a lead and had a six-point advantage, 13-7, at the 12:27 mark thanks to controlling the glass. The Crimson and White had a 21-13 edge in rebounds in the first half. NM State maintained the lead until Oregon State utilized an 18-4 run, when the Aggie offense stalled and went over six minutes without a field goal.
The Aggies trailed 41-30 at halftime. Mullings had a team-high 14 points and four rebounds. Sy had seven points at the break, while Watson supplied six.
In the second half, the Aggies cut the Beavers' lead to single digits, 54-46, when Nephawe scored on tip-in on a missed free throw with 10:01 to play.
NM State didn't go away and kept fighting and trimmed Oregon State's lead to seven, 68-61, with less than two minutes to play on dunk from junior forward Renaldo Dixon. On the next possession, Sy hit a free throw to bring it within six, 68-62.
NM State returns home to start a span of three games in four days with the home opener against Southeastern Louisiana, Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. inside the Pan American Center.