New Mexico State could not overcome a 12-of-24 shooting performance from three point distance by the Lobos on Wednesday night in front of a sold out Pan American Center as they fell 89-69. The Lobos hit 8-of-12 three point attempts in the first half en route to a 46-25 halftime lead.
The two teams traded blows early as the Aggies went on a 5-0 run to tie the game at 9-9 with 13:57 left to play in the first half, however, the Lobos would go on a 7-0 run to take a seven point lead. The Aggies would trim the lead to three on a jumper from Hernst Laroche but UNM would respond with a 13-3 run to take a 29-16 lead with just under seven minutes left in the half. The Aggies' field goal drought continued for the next four minutes allowing the Lobos to build a 23-point lead. Hamidu Rahman broke the field goal drought scoring a layup with 2:25 left in the half to cut the Aggies' deficit to 42-21 and the two teams each scored four more points before the break.
Trailing by 21 at the half, the Aggies would get no closer than 18 points in the second half as Wendell McKines hit the Aggies' only three pointer of the game with 12:47 left to play in the game to cap a 9-0 run by New Mexico State. The Lobos quickly responded building their lead to 34 points. The Aggies outscored the Lobos 20-8 over the final seven minutes and change to make the final deficit 89-69.
Wendell McKines recorded his third straight double-double finishing with a game-high 25 points and grabbing 15 rebounds including eight on the offensive glass. Hamidu Rahman added 19 points and grabbed six rebounds and hit 7-of-11 free throw attempts. No other Aggies finished in double-figures as Hernst Laroche added eight points, Christian Kabongo had just ix on 2-of-14 shooting and Bandja Sy managed just four points.
The Lobos were led by Tony Snell's 24 points as he finished 5-of-8 from three point distance and 9-of-9 from the charity stripe. Drew Gordon recorded a double-double for UNM scoring 23 points and grabbing 19 rebounds and was 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
The Aggies out-rebounded the Lobos 47-45 and grabbed a season-high 24 offensive rebounds. The Aggies committed 17 turnovers leading to 18 UNM points but countered forcing 15 Lobo turnovers which led to 20 Aggie points. The Aggies were 22-of-35 from the free throw line (62.9 percent) while UNM was 17-of-20 from the charity stripe (85.0 percent).
The Aggies shot just 32.4 percent from the field and a dismal 25.8 percent in the first half (8-of-31) while the Lobos shot 45.5 percent for the game and 50 percent in the second half (15-of-30).
With the loss the Aggies drop to 8-5 on the season while New Mexico improves to 11-2. The Aggies return to action on New Year's Eve day as they face Arkansas-Pine Bluff at noon (MT).