In its second appearance in the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, the New Mexico State men's basketball team concluded the tournament with an 81-71 win over San Francisco in the third-place game.
The Aggies (5-1) had four players in double-digits with sophomore guard Christian Kabongo recording a career-high 23 points. Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines tallied 17 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Senior guard Hernst Laroche scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half along with a season-high seven assists. Senior center Hamidu Rahman chipped in 10 points and six boards.
The Aggies and Dons were tied 35-35 at half. Kabongo led all scorers with 14 points. McKines supplied eight points, while Rahman had six. NM State continued to be aggressive offensively and hit 17-of-21 free throws (81.0 percent) in the first half. From the field, the Aggies were 34.8 percent (8-of-23).
In the second half, San Francisco led until the Aggies went on an 11-3 run that started with a Kabongo jumper at 7:31. NM State claimed the advantage, 61-59, on a fast break dunk from junior forward Tyrone Watson. The rally also included five points from Laroche and a pair of free throws from Rahman.
The Aggies set multiple tournament records at the free-throw line. Kabongo has the record for consecutive free throws made with 30. As a team, the Aggies have the record for free throws made (95) and free throw attempts (131).
The Aggies return to Las Cruces to host No. 23 Arizona, Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. inside the Pan American Center.