HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KTSM) — New Mexico State saw their 10-game win streak snapped in the worst way on Thursday night, as the Aggies were embarrassed by Sam Houston in a 71-46 road loss at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.
Savion Flagg led the Bearkats with 22 points, Donte Powers had 12 points, as Sam Houston (11-9, 6-1 Western Athletic Conference) won its fourth consecutive game in WAC play. Demarkus Lampley added 10 points and Tristan Ikpe pulled down eight rebounds.
NMSU (15-3, 5-1 WAC), who owned the nation’s third-longest win streak before Thursday’s loss, were led by Donnie Tillman and Johnny McCants who posted eight points apiece for the Aggies.
“I’m embarrassed for our fans,” said NMSU head coach Chris Jans. “There’s 50-something [fans] that paid their money, flew here and bussed here, and ‘we’re going have a road trip with the Aggies…’ I just wish I could look every one of those in the eye and tell them I’m sorry for the performance that we had today.”
It will be a short turnaround for the Aggies, who will bus to Nacogdoches, Texas, on Friday. NMSU will play at Stephen F. Austin — who beat Grand Canyon 71-46 on Thursday — inside the William R. Johnson Coliseum on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT on ESPN+.
GAME NOTES (Via: NM State Athletics)
• NM State struggled from the jump, misfiring on each of its first six tries from the field. Sam Houston suffered from no such deficiencies on the offensive end as Savion Flagg drained two three-pointers during the hosts’ 10-0 run to start the game.
• By going 1-for-2 on the Aggies’ first trip to the foul line, Yuat Alok succeeded in cutting the Bearkats’ lead to just seven, 10-3, but that was as close as the Aggies would get through the opening 20 minutes of action.
• Simply put, shot making was the difference in the first stanza as Sam Houston converted 14 of its 22 tries from the field (63.6-percent). That mark included a 7-of-13 (53.8-percent) showing from long range.
• It mattered not that Flagg, the Bearkats’ leading scorer and the second-best point producer in the WAC, was on the bench for the majority of the opening frame as the rest of Sam Houston’s squad was able to get the job done.
• Powers led the charge for the hosts, hitting three of Sam Houston’s seven first-half three-pointers. Once the halftime horn had sounded, NM State had made fewer field goals (six) than the Bearkats had made three-pointers.
• Johnny McCants was one of the lone bright spots for the Aggies in an otherwise forgettable first half. The senior out of Las Cruces, N.M., finished with eight of his team’s 18 first-half points on a 3-of-7 shooting clip.
• As a team, NM State connected on just 25-percent (6-of-24) of its shots in the first frame.
• Sam Houston’s insurmountable lead grew to as many as 38 points by the time all was said and done.
• Through the course of the last 9:25, NM State closed on an 18-5 run to cut the Bearkats’ lead to 25 at the final horn.
• Mario McKinney Jr. and Levar Williams accounted for eight of NM State’s final 18 points as the Aggies shot 7-of-23 (30.4-percent) from the field in the deciding frame.
KEY PERFORMERS/STATISTICS OF NOTE
• No Aggie hit double digits in the scoring column and for Teddy Allen that meant his streak of 17-straight game of 10 or more points game to an end. Allen, the reigning WAC Player of the Week, finished with just two points to go along with five rebounds and two of the Aggies’ eight assists.
• McCants and Donnie Tillman tied for team-high scoring honors by finishing with eight points apiece. Alok chipped in six for NM State which saw its seven-game streak of consecutive road wins snapped with the loss, too. That stretch was the nation’s second-longest active run of true road wins.
• NM State shot just 13-of-37 (27.7-percent) from the field in the loss. The Aggies didn’t fare much better from three-point range, connecting on only 22.2-percent (6-of-27) of their tries from that distance.
• Flagg poured in a game-high 22 points on an 8-of-16 shooting clip while Demarkus Lampley added 10 on 4-of-7 shooting.
• As a team, Sam Houston shot .531/.448./667 and relied on 13 three-pointers to get the job done. Ball movement helped the Bearkats’ chances, too, as they finished with 20 assists on 26 made field goals.
• The Aggies’ 46 points were a season low as well as the fewest scored by the team since generating only 41 in a non-conference loss at Wichita State in on Feb. 15, 2016.
COMING UP NEXT
• A trip to Texas’ oldest town, Nacogdoches, is up next for NM State. Saturday afternoon, the Aggies will try to take the wind out of SFA’s sails after the Lumberjacks hammered Grand Canyon by a score of 71-46 Thursday night. Tip-off inside William R. Johnson Coliseum in the inaugural showdown between the Aggies and Lumberjacks is set for 1:00 p.m.