EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — With the game on the line, New Mexico State put the ball in Jabari Rice’s hands and he delivered a last-second three-pointer to stun UTEP, 72-69, on Friday night at the Don Haskins Center. The Aggies have now won 12 of the last 13 meetings against the Miners in the Battle of I-10.
UTEP’s Jamai Sibley tied the game at 69 with a three-pointer of his own with 24 seconds to play in regulation. Rice dribbled the ball up the floor, pulled up from beyond the arc, and got a friendly roll with 1.6 seconds to play. Jamal Bieniemy’s last-second heave from mid-court ironed out, to give the Aggies their second win of the season over the Miners.
NMSU had four players score in double-digits, led by Rice’s 19 points. Will McNair Jr. dominated in the paint with 18 points, Teddy Allen tallied 15 points, and Johnny McCants added 10 points in the win. Head coach Chris Jans, who coached in his first game since clearing COVID protocols, improves to 7-1 all-time against UTEP.
Souley Boum, who also cleared COVID protocol this week for UTEP, led the Miners with 19 points Sibley had his best game as a Miner scoring 18 points on 7-of-9 (77.8%) shooting from the floor, pulling down seven rebounds. Jamal Bieniemy added 11 points in the loss.
With the win, NMSU improves to 6-2 on the season and will play in-state rival New Mexico for the second time in five days on Sunday in Albuquerque. UTEP falls to 4-3 this season and will play at Kansas on Tuesday.