When the clock struck zero at Swinney Recreation Center Thursday night, the New Mexico State men’s basketball team laid claim to its second-consecutive Western Athletic Conference Regular-Season with the 75-55 win over Kansas City.
NM State (25-4, 13-1 WAC) has now won 14-consecutive games on the year and 13-straight in conference action with the win. It is also now the fifth regular-season title the Aggies have captured since joining the WAC for the 2006-06 season.
Kansas City (10-19, 5-9 WAC) started the game with a quick 5-0 run after winning the tip but that didn’t last as NM State answered with a 7-0 run of its own by the 15:43 media break. After an exchange of a couple baskets, the Aggies reeled off a 14-0 run capped off by a lay-in from Trevelin Queen which gave NM State the 23-11 lead.
NM State’s defense held UMKC scoreless for 5:06 of action before Danny Dixon hit a three out of the 7:59 media break. However, NM State finished out the final 3:43 of the first-half with an 11-4 run to take the 39-21 lead into the locker room.
Aggies shot 50-percent (14-of-28) from the floor through 20 minutes of action and doubled up the Roos on the glass 22 to 11 with an 18-4 edge in the paint.
The second-half was much like that of the first with New Mexico State dominating the Roos on both sides of the ball. Nine of the 13 available players for the Aggies scored in the second-half with 12 of the 13 players scoring at the end of the game.
UMKC couldn’t capitalize early in the second-half, especially in the first 10 minutes where NM State committed several turnovers. The back-and-forth action didn’t allow the Roos to catch NM State in any shape or form before NM State solidified the 75-55 win Thursday night.
Terrell Brown and Johnny McCants led the way for New Mexico State with 12 points apiece. Brown went 3-of-4 from 3-point range while McCants went 5-of-5 from the field with seven boards. Ivan Aurrecoechea finished the night with nine points and five boards while Queen pitched in with nine points, three boards, three assists and two blocks.
BY THE NUMBERS
NM State dominated the paint 42-26 and converted 13 offensive boards into a 12-0 edge in second-chance points…with 20 assists Thursday night, the Aggies have now dished out 20-plus dimes in three-straight games…NM State shot a .508 clip from the field on 30-of-59 shooting and has now shot 50-percent or better for the seventh time this season.
The Aggies remain on the road and head to the Windy City for a 1 p.m. (MT) contest at Chicago State inside the Jones Convocation Center on the WAC Digital Network.