LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State men’s basketball grabbed the first win of the Greg Heiar Era. The Aggies dominated New Mexico Highlands and grabbed a 101-52 win at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Monday night.

New Mexico Highlands was the second NCAA Division II program that NMSU has faced in the last seven days. NMSU played an exhibition against Western New Mexico on last Wednesday and secured a 99-75 win. Monday night, NMSU easily secured a 101-52 win over NM Highlands.

“I definitely think we have improved from the exhibition and the film is working,” said NM State head coach Greg Heiar. “They are starting to understand what it takes to win a possession. I was really impressed with our paint play. I thought we did a great job in both areas of attacking the paint and protecting the paint.”

NM State won the rebounding battle 47-24 in the total rebounding category. The Aggies also outscored New Mexico Highlands 48-22 in the paint. One of the big forces in the paint was Issa Muhammad as he collected 20 points on 9-11 shooting from the floor along with eight rebounds.

Muhammad was one of four Aggies to score in double digits. Mike Peake (16 points), Deshawndre Washington (17 points), and Marchelus Avery (13 points) were the other three to tally double-digit points.

NMSU shot a very efficient 52.7% (39-74) from the floor, 36.1% (13-36) from three-point land, and 62.5% (10-16) from the free throw line. Defensively, the Aggies held NM Highlands to 29.4% FG (20-68), 20% 3PT- (6-30), and forced 14 turnovers.

“We did a great job of contesting shots, up until number 33 [Tyler Rogers] got his open shot with about less than six minutes left, which was uncontested, we contested every shot in the game,” said Heiar. “That is definitely progress on the defensive end of the court.”

One of the standout performances of the night came from NM State guard Deshawndre Washinton. The product out of Chicago, Illinois recorded a triple-double, his first with NMSU, as he collected 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.

“My teammates uplift me and give me the confidence to shoot the ball,” said Washington. “I got a lot of confidence in my teammates. Like when I pass them the ball, I know that they are making the shots.”

NMSU’s Xavier Pinson and DaJuan Gordon did have off nights. Pinson, who was cleared by the NCAA the morning of the game, scored four points on 2 of 7 shooting. Gordon didn’t score any points as he missed all four of his shots from the field.

This was just game one of many down the road this 2022-23 season for New Mexico State. Up next, the Aggies will get their toughest challenge of the season so far as they head to the Don Haskins Center to battle UTEP on Saturday, Nov. 12.