The New Mexico State men’s basketball team said goodbye to 2010 with its second WAC game of the season at Boise State, but the Aggies fell to the Broncos, 81-78, in the New Year’s Eve game.
The Aggies moved to 7-9 and 1-1 in the WAC while Boise State is 9-5 and 2-0. NM State had four players in double-figures with junior forward Troy Gillenwater scoring a game-high 24 points. Senior guard Gordo Castillo had 14 points, while sophomore forward Bandja Sy and junior guard Hernst Laroche supplied 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Gillenwater hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Aggies a 45-39 lead going into halftime. He paced the Aggies in the first half with 15 points. Castillo added 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the 3-point line, which tied a season-high mark for the sharpshooter. As a team, NM State was lethal from beyond the arc with an 8-of-12 showing.
The Aggies posted a 69.6 field goal percentage (16-for-23) in the first 20 minutes of action, and Sy contributed nine points.
NM State had a strong start to the game and made its first three shots of the game. The Aggies raced to an 8-1 lead less than three minutes into the game after a pair of free throws from sophomore forward Tyrone Watson.
The Crimson and White extended the lead to nine, 18-9, at the 11:49 mark after Gillenwater hit a jumper. The Aggies controlled the lead until Boise State tied the game at 26-26 with 5:04 left in the first half. NM State responded with four consecutive 3-pointers and a fast break dunk from Sy to take a 10-point lead, 40-30, at the 2:23 mark.
The Aggies’ advantage was relinquished at the 4:06 mark when Boise State hit a 3-pointer to take its first lead of the game, 68-67. NM State went on to tie the game twice but couldn’t regain the lead.
NM State returns to Las Cruces to host Fresno State, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. in the WAC home opener.