LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Feb. 9)-The New Mexico State men's basketball team fought off Seattle for a 60-57 win for its 11th straight victory.
In the Lou Henson Classic, sophomore guard Daniel Mullings had a game-high 18 points to lead the Aggies (17-8, 11-2 WAC), and freshman center Sim Bhullar recorded a near double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Senior forward Bandja Sy added nine points, and junior forward Renaldo Dixon supplied eight.
The Aggie offense was held to 34 percent shooting for the game (16-of-47), but the defense stepped up and blocked eight shots. Bhullar led the effort with four, and he now ranks sixth on the single-season list at NM State. The Crimson and White also protected the ball and only committed nine turnovers despite Seattle's full-court press.
The Aggies survived Seattle's late game change. NM State had a five-point lead, 57-52, with 2:11 to play after Mullings hit a pair of free throws.
With 1:05 remaining, Seattle trimmed the Aggie lead to two, 59-57. NM State managed the clock and Bhullar was fouled on a put back. He hit the first of two free throws, and the Aggie defense held tough and Seattle missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
The Aggies had a 34-30 halftime lead. Mullings led all scorers with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Bhullar contributed 11 points and a pair of blocked shots.
NM State only shot 35.5 percent from the field (11-of-31) after the first 20 minutes of action. The Aggies had a nine-point lead, 31-22, on a three-point play from Bhullar with 6:59 remaining in the first half. The Aggie offense stalled and went without a field goal for over six minutes but maintained its lead.
In the second half, the shots didn't fall early for the Aggies, and Seattle took advantage. The Redhawks posted their first lead of the game, 36-34, with 15:38 remaining
The Aggies return to the road for two away games at San Jose State, Feb. 14 and Utah State, Feb. 16 on ESPNU.