SEATTLE (Jan. 10)-The New Mexico State men's basketball team recorded its first WAC road win with an 83-82 victory in double overtime at Seattle. Senior forward Tyrone Watson scored a career-high 26 points.
This was the first multiple overtime game for the Aggies (9-8, 3-2 WAC) since the triple overtime thriller against Boise State in the 2008 WAC Championship game.
Senior forward Bandja Sy contributed 23 points including a 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 67-67 to force the first overtime.
The Aggies came out and scored the first six points of the extra period with the seniors taking command. With three miscues in the final 42 seconds, Seattle took advantage and forced double overtime, 73-73.
In the second overtime, the Aggies built a five-point lead, 79-74, after a pair of Watson free throws. Seattle cut the lead to two, 79-77, after making one of two free throws with 35 seconds remaining. NM State proceeded to handle the pressure, and sophomore guard K.C. Ross-Miller knocked down 3-of-4 free throws to give the Aggies an 82-77 lead with 22 seconds to play.
The Redhawks answered with a 3-pointer to pull within two, 82-80, with seven seconds left but, Sy sank a free throw with four seconds, and the Aggies didn't allow another triple.
En route to his career-high performance, Watson scored 14 points in the second half. He added five assists and seven steals, which helped the Aggies to a season-high 15 steals. Sophomore guard Daniel Mullings also helped defensively with seven steals along with 19 points and seven rebounds.
The Aggies posted a 36-34 halftime lead after shooting 44.1 percent from the field (15-of-34) in the first half. Mullings had a game-high 15 points on a 6-of-6 shooting performance. Sy was in double-digits with 10 points and six rebounds.
The first half was a quick-paced period with the teams combining for 22 turnovers. The Aggies took advantage and scored 26 points in the paint and only allowed 14. The lead changed eight times. NM State outscored the Redhawks 15-8 to close out the first half. The Aggies built their biggest lead of the first half, seven points, 36-29, when Mullings converted a three-point play with 1:44 until the break.
The Aggies continue the road trip at Idaho, Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. in Moscow, Idaho.