LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – New Mexico State may have picked up a win that could change the rest of its WAC season on Wednesday.
The Aggies dispatched Stephen F. Austin 73-67 at the Pan American Center to snap a nine-game losing streak and avoid the first 0-10 start to conference play in program history. NMSU improved to 8-14, 1-9 in the WAC with the victory.
Five players scored in double figures for the Aggies, led by Quaye Gordon’s 15 points off the bench. Xavier Pinson also added nine points and six assists in the victory over SFA (15-8, 7-3 WAC).
“To be 0-9 and our fans still showing up like that and still have that type of passion says a lot about Aggie nation and what kind of fans we have here,” head coach Greg Heiar said after getting his first conference win at NMSU. “I know it’s been a rough season on all of Aggie nation and I’m very appreciative that they came out and helped us a lot down the stretch.”
NMSU played the game short- handed; Marchelus Avery did not play for what the school called personal reasons and Kyle Feit did not play with an injury.
Pinson was a game-time decision with a knee injury suffered last Saturday vs. Utah Valley, but was healthy enough to make an impact.
The victory was sweet for the Aggies, but they know they’re far from where they want to be. However, it could be the start of some sort of turnaround for NMSU.
“It feels good but we have to keep going,” Aggies forward Issa Muhammad said. “It’s only one win. We have to qualify for the (WAC Tournament). It feels like we got over an obstacle and achieved something today. Everyone did their job tonight and we got the win.”
NMSU will return to the Pan American Center on Saturday to host Seattle U at 7 p.m. The Redhawks beat the Aggies in Seattle last month.