BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Jan. 2)-Junior forward Tyrone Watson hit two free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining in regulation to give the New Mexico State men's basketball team a 73-72 win at Cal State Bakersfield.
Freshman guard Daniel Mullings had a career-high 21 points for the Aggies. NM State improved to 10-5, which ties the best pre-conference start since the 2006-07 season. The Aggies set a season-high mark with 35 free throws made (35-of-44).
In a contest that was tied 10 times, junior forward Bandja Sy hit a 3-pointer to give the Aggies a 71-69 lead with 51.1 seconds to play. The Roadrunners then claimed a 72-21 lead after a basket and free throw. After a miss on the second free throw, Watson grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He ended the night with nine points going 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines was the only other Aggie in double digits with 12 points.
At halftime, the Aggies and Roadrunners were tied at 36-36. Mullings led all scorers with 13 points on a 5-of-6 shooting performance. Watson also contributed six points, which all came at the free-throw line.
NM State had a 57.9 field goal percentage (11-of-19) and 77.8 free-throw percentage (14-of-18) but was hurt by 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Aggies open WAC play at Louisiana Tech, Saturday, Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. in Ruston, La.