Aggies handle Utah Valley 70-56 for seventh consecutive win

NMSU

OREM, UT (KTSM) – Trevelin Queen and Terrell Brown score 17 points apiece, Johnny McCants chipped in 13 points and the New Mexico State basketball team picked up their seventh consecutive win, 70-56 at Utah Valley on Thursday night. It is the Aggies’ 19th consecutive conference win.

Showing off the spurtability of their offense, the Aggies’ 15-1 scoring spree represented just a part of their larger 28-11 surge over a span of 9:36 that allowed the WAC’s lone squad without a league loss to move to 4-0 in WAC play.

FIRST HALF
• Reigning WAC Player of the Week Jabari Rice required just 10 seconds to get on the scoreboard, canning a wide-open triple on the far wing on the game’s first possession. Despite Rice’s early strike, the trifecta proved to be the Aggies’ lone field goal through the first four minutes and change. 
• Emmanuel Olojakpoke put a charge into the home crowd by throwing down an alley-oop dunk that handed the home team its lone lead of the tilt, 7-5, with 16:29 to go in the frame. From there one of the themes of the first half – New Mexico State free throw shooting – took form to make sure the visitors never trailed again. 
• Johnny McCants entered the game shooting just 34.5-percent (10-of-29) from the foul line, but those in attendance wouldn’t have believed it as the junior bookended a 9-0 Aggie run with three free throw makes. In all, McCants went 5-of-6 from the stripe in the game.
• Also included in that New Mexico State surge were a pair of triples in quick succession from Trevelin Queen which helped the hosts take a 14-7 lead at the 14:03 mark of the frame. 
• Isaiah White managed to pull the Wolverines even for the final time when his three-pointer made matters 16-16, but the Aggies used another 7-0 run – one capped by two more McCants free throw makes – to retake the lead. 
• Queen caught fire in the late stages of the frame, too, scoring seven in a row for the Aggies to help keep the Wolverines at bay. 
• Evan Gilyard capped a 10-of-12 showing from the free throw line in the half by sinking one of two, but the Aggies were never able to pull away due in part to 10 turnovers. 
• Helping to offset those 10 Aggie throwaways were some sublime shooting numbers through the first 20 minutes of action. Powered by 13 first-half markers from Queen, the Aggies put up shooting splits of .409/.429/.833 in the frame while the Wolverines slung the rock in at a clip of .385/.273/.571. 

SECOND HALF
• Queen quieted off in the second half, netting only four points, but Brown took over through the final 20 minutes by netting 11 of his 17. 
• It was Brown who started thee Aggies’ aforementioned 15-1 run with a pair of makes at the foul line. Willing to dish the rock, too, Brown hit C.J. Bobbitt for a corner three during the surge before pushing the Aggies’ lead to double-digits, 49-39, with a hard-driving fast-break layup at the 12:56 mark. 
• Following McCants’ dunk that put New Mexico State up 54-39 with 11:50 left, the visitors’ lead never went below double-digits. Brown pushed that edge to as high as 19 points, 69-49, when he splashed his fourth and final triple of the game with 5:28 left.
• Casdon Jardine scored five of the Wolverines’ last seven points and New Mexico State didn’t hit a field goal for the last 5:27, but it mattered not.  

KEY PERFORMERS/STATISTICS OF NOTE
• Brown and Queen each went for 17 points to propel the Aggies to their sixth-consecutive triumph. Chipping in 13 points and team-highs in rebounds (eight), assists (three) and steals (three) was McCants. 
• Putting forth one of their best free throw shooting nights this season, New Mexico State converted 15 of its 17 tries from that range and finished with a mark of 88.2-percent from the foul line. 
• Outside of Brown, McCants and Queen, no other Aggie scored more than six points in the win. 
• White led the way for Utah Valley with a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double. Jardine chipped in 10 for the Wolverines who have dropped their last three. 
• Including tonight, the Aggies have trailed in WAC play for a span of only 4:34 out of a possible 160 minutes. By the numbers, New Mexico State has led for all but 2.9-percent of its four WAC games this season. 
• Thanks to the win, the Aggies are at or above the .500 mark (3-3) in true road games for the first time this season. 

COMING UP NEXT
• Nipping right at the Aggies’ heels in the WAC standings is Seattle U and the Pacific Northwest is exactly where New Mexico State is headed next. Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. MT, the Aggies shoot for their 20th-consecutive WAC regular season triumph when the head to the Redhawk Center to take on Seattle. The WAC Digital Network will carry the clash to viewers around the globe. 

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