In their first BracketBuster road game since the 2005-06 season, which was featured on ESPNU, the Aggies scored a season-high 55 points in the second half. NM State improved to 17-9 while the Tiger fell to 17-9.
Junior guard Jahmar Young paced the team with 22 points and 18 scored in the second half. Senior guard Jonathan Gibson contributed 20 points while sophomore forward Troy Gillenwater added a double-double 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The Aggie offense was fierce in the final 20 minutes with a 63.0 field goal percent and seven 3-pointers. NM State was also solid at the free-throw line shooting 77.3 percent (17-for-22).
In the first half, sophomore center Hamidu Rahman led the Aggies with eight points while Gibson scored seven but NM State trailed, 33-29.
The Aggies posted a four-point lead, 16-12, at 10:24 when Young found Gibson for a 3-pointer. After junior guard Gordo Castillo hit a 3-point shot to even the score at 19-19 at the 7:55 mark, the Tigers responded and held NM State scoreless for three minutes to build a 27-19 advantage.
With 4:42 remaining, junior forward Wendell McKines broke the dry spell with a dunk that started an Aggie rally. In the run, NM State found Rahman in the paint for a pair of baskets to cut into Pacific’s lead, 29-25.
With his first 3-pointer of the contest, Young tied the game at 45-45 with 12:00 left. The Aggies then claimed their first lead of the second half, 47-45, when McKines found Gillenwater under the basket. NM State then extended its lead to six points, 56-50, with a Gillenwater turnaround jumper at the 7:46 mark.
The Aggies continued the rally when sophomore guard Hernst Laroche sank a 3-pointer, his first basket of the game, to give NM State a 62-53 advantage at 5:41. Gibson then followed with a 3-pointer on the next possession.
NM State returns to WAC play when it hosts