Aggies Win Exhibition Opener


POSTED: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 9:15pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 9:37pm

The New Mexico State men's basketball team coasted to a 115-64 win over Eastern New Mexico in the team's lone exhibition game of the season. The Aggies had five players in double figures.

Redshirt senior forward Wendell McKines directed the Aggies with a team-high 19 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Christian Kabongo scored 18 points with seven assists. Freshman guard Daniel Mullings added 13 points off the bench, while senior guard Hernst Laroche and sophomore center Tshilidzi Nephawe provided 10 points each.

The Aggies started the game strong with a 9-0 run less than three minutes into the game. NM State extended the lead to 20-5 at the 14:04 mark and forced the Greyhounds into a timeout. The Aggies built a 25-point lead, 41-16, with 5:26 to play before halftime.

The Crimson and White posted a 50-24 advantage at halftime with McKines leading the way with a game-high 11 points at the break. Kabongo added 10 points, and senior center Hamidu Rahman supplied a game-high six rebounds.

NM State had 11 players see action and score in the first half with a 53.5 field goal percentage (21-of-40). NM State also had seven blocks and five steals.

The Aggies kept the pressure on in the second half and had a 30-point lead, 65-35, on a McKines jumper at the 15:23 mark. NM State extended the advantage to 85-45 on a pair of Laroche free throws with 9:16 to play. The Aggies hit the century mark, 100-53, at 4:32 with a dunk from McKines.

NM State improved its field goal percentage in the second half (67.6 percent) and shot 59.7 percent (46-of-77) for the game along with dishing out 23 assists.

The Aggies open the 2011-12 regular season at Northern Colorado, Nov. 12, in Greeley, Colo.

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