In the third overtime game of the season, the New Mexico State men’s basketball team lost at Fresno State, 88-83. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater scored a game-high 33 points in the second overtime contest in the last three games.
The Aggies moved to 12-12 and 6-4 in the WAC, while the Bulldogs improved to 9-12 and 4-6. Offensively, sophomore forward Tyrone Watson supplied 14 points and junior guard Hernst Laroche and freshman guard Christian Kabongo provided 10 points each.
Twelve turnovers hampered the Aggies in the first half and they trailed Fresno State, 37-35, at halftime. Gillenwater led all scorers with 14 points, while Kabongo added eight points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field. The Aggies hit 5-of-7 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Aggies fell behind early, 21-9, at the 9:52 mark but rallied following a timeout. NM State then utilized a 13-2 run that included three 3-pointers to cut the Fresno State advantage to one, 23-22, at 7:06.
The Bulldogs answered with seven straight points for an eight-point lead, 30-22, before the Aggies fought back with a 13-7 advantage in the final 3:48 of the first half.
Junior center Hamidu Rahman gave the Aggies their first lead of the game, 44-43, with a layup at the 17:50 mark of the second half. NM State extended its lead to six-points, 51-45, with back-to-back layups from Watson at 14:23. The Aggies had a seven-point advantage, 61-54, after a Gillenwater dunk at 8:49.
After Fresno State tied the game at 65-65, the Aggies built a five-point lead, 72-67 when Laroche went 1-of-2 at the free-throw line. The Bulldogs scored the next seven points to reclaim the lead, 74-72.
On the next possession, sophomore forward Bandja Sy hit one of two free throws and then Watson grabbed the rebound. After a foul, Gillenwater made the second of two free throws to tie the game, 74-74, with 15.8 seconds remaining in regulation.
In overtime, the Aggies struggled from the field with a 1-for-8 shooting performance but were strong at the free-throw line (7-of-10).
The Aggies return to Las Cruces to host Louisiana Tech, Monday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.
Game time for the New Mexico State men’s basketball team’s contest with Northern Colorado, Feb. 19, in the ESPNU BracketBuster is set for 6:30 p.m. on AggieVision. Distribution details will be released at a later date.