In their first road game of WAC play in the 2022-23 season, New Mexico State men’s basketball suffered a 69-60 loss to Stephen F. Austin at William R. Johnson Coliseum in Nacogdoches, TX on Wednesday night.
This was the Aggies third straight loss in WAC play. They still remain winless in conference play. The last time NMSU began WAC play 0-3 was the 2020-21 COVID season, but before that you have to go back to 2004-05 to find the program’s last 0-3 start in conference action.
New Mexico State shot 39.0% from the field, 31.6% from three-point land, and 53.3% from the free throw line. Xavier Pinson led the team and game in scoring with 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting from the floor. Pinson made a trio of three pointers and three free throws on three attempts. Marchelus Avery followed up with 16 points and Issa Muhammad was the only other Aggie to score in double-digits with 11 points.
NMSU midseason addition Mady Traore made his debut for the team. The 6’11” forward recorded five points on 2-of-2 shooting from the floor in 12 minutes played.
Stephen F. Austin shot 42.4% from the field, 35.0% from three, and 63.2% from the free throw line. Sadaidriene Hall led the Lumberjacks with 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 4-of-6 free throws. Latrell Jossell was the team’s second leading scorer on Wednesday with 15 points as he hit five three-point shots on ten total attempts. Roti Ware totaled 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field and Nana Antwi-Boasiako recorded 10 points.
Stephen F. Austin jumped out to a 22-9 lead with 6:05 left in the in the first half. The Lumberjacks would grab their biggest lead of the half when they went up 30-14 with 2:31 to go.
New Mexico State countered with a 10-0 run and managed to go into halftime down 31-24.
In the second half, SFA went back up by double-digits, 38-27, after a made lay-up from AJ Cajuste at the 17:37 mark of the half. New Mexico State responded with a 12-4 run to get within 3, 42-39, with 14:31 to go.
The Aggies wouldn’t get any closer than that in the second half. The Lumberjacks would extend their lead with a 12-2 run to take a 54-41 lead at the 9:34 mark of the game. The Lumberjacks kept their foot on the gas pedal and kept the lead the entire second half to take a 69-60 win over the Aggies.
New Mexico State (7-8, 0-3 WAC) drops their third straight game in WAC play. They’ll have a short time to regroup as they’ll face California Baptist on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Pan American Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. MT.