Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
EL PASO, Texas (Nov. 23)-In the final game of a four-game road trip, the New Mexico State men’s basketball team fell at UTEP, 73-56, in the first meeting of the Sonic Battle of I-10 this season. Junior forward Troy Gillenwater directed the Aggies with 18 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
Junior guard Hernst Laroche was also in double-figures with 11 points. Senior guard Gordo Castillo added eight points on 2-for-4 shooting from the 3-point line, while freshman guard Christian Kabongo supplied seven points.
NM State out-rebounded the Miners, 48-27, but UTEP shot 50 percent from the 3-point line (12-of-24). The Aggies trailed UTEP, 40-31, at halftime. Gillenwater posted his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds in the first half, while Laroche added seven points. NM State dominated the board with a 26-10 advantage.
NM State held the lead until the Miners hit their third 3-pointer of the game at the 12:10 mark. UTEP built a 12-point lead, 29-17, but the Aggies responded with an 11-2 run to pull within three, 31-28, after a 3-pointer from Castillo with 2:15 until halftime.
In the second half, the Aggies cut the UTEP lead to single digits, 50-43, with a Castillo 3-pointer and a Laroche layup at the 13:46 mark. NM State was within seven again, 56-49, at 6:33 on a Castillo tip-in.
The Aggies return to the Pan American Center after their first five of six games were on the road, when they host UTEP, Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.