NMSU overcomes 18-point deficit in second half to stun Washington State, 64-61


PULLMAN, WA (KTSM) — The cardiac kids strike again.

Trailing by 18 in the second half, New Mexico State came storming back to beat Washington State, 64-61, to improve to 9-2 on the season on Wednesday night at the Beasley Coliseum in Pullman. The Aggies have now won their last four games, all on the road, by a combined 13 points.

“I think they’ve proven to everyone, including myself and our staff, that they’re willing and able to go out on the road and find a way to do enough good to eke out some victories. That’s what you have to do.” said NMSU head coach Chris Jans. “We had to fight, scratch and claw. Every possession felt like life or death defensively.”

Jabari Rice led the way for NMSU with a game-high 22 points, shooting 5-of-8 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. Teddy Allen added 18 points, and Will McNair, who gave the Aggies the lead late in the second half with a layup in the paint, tallied 10 points and eight rebounds in the win.

Wednesday night’s win over the Cougars marks Chris Jans’ sixth win over a Power 5 program since arriving on campus as the Aggies’ head coach in 2017, with three of those wins coming against Washington State. It is the first true road win over a Power 5 opponent under Jans, which earns him a $5k bonus under the terms of his contract. Meanwhile, Washington State paid NMSU $85k to play the Aggies in Pullman.

I’m really proud of this group,” said Jans. “We are certainly a work in progress and there’s a long ways to go, but I like where we’re at.”

NMSU will return home on Saturday to play Northern New Mexico (NAIA). The Aggies will then host UT Permian Basin (DII) next Monday before beginning conference play on Dec. 30 at Seattle U.

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