With the game tied 71-71 with five seconds left to play, Wendell McKines turned the ball over and then committed a foul with 2.4 seconds left to play putting Cal State-Bakersfield's Issiah Grayson at the line for a pair of free throw attempts. Grayson would hit the first to put the Roadrunners up 72-71 and the Aggies appeared to need a miracle to pull out the victory. The Aggies would get their miracle as Grayson would miss the second free throw. Tyrone Watson rebounded the miss and was fouled by Donald Johnson with .9 seconds left to play.
Watson, a 50 percent free throw shooter on the season, had been having a stellar night at the line having hit 7-of-8 attempts. Watson stepped to the line needing to make just one of the two free throws to send the game to overtime but calmly hit both giving the Aggies a 73-72 lead. Bakersfield would inbound the ball and Stephon Carter would heave a desperation three pointer but it would fail to connect giving the Aggies the miraculous 73-72 victory and a 10th non-conference win, their highest total since the 2006-07 team went into conference play with a 10-3 record.
The Aggies took an early 2-0 lead but back-to-back-to-back threes by the Roadrunners put the Aggies into a 9-2 hole and they would trail nearly the entire first half. CSUB built an 11 point lead going up 17-6 with 13:21 left on the first half clock but the Aggies would go on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to just two. Bakersfield build the lead back to seven with 8:09 left to play but the Aggies would take just their second lead of the half on a layup from freshman walk-on point guard D.J. Lewis with 2:54 left in the half. The two teams would trade the lead back and forth but a pair of free throws from Tyrone Watson with 41 seconds left would tie the game at 36 as Daniel Mullings would block a Zach Lamb three point attempt with nine seconds left to preserve the tie heading into overtime.
The Roadrunners would build a five point lead early in the second half going up 46-41 with 16:06 left on the clock bu the Aggies would tie the game at 48-all on a pair of free throws by Tshilidzi Nephawe. The score remained tied at the 10:43 mark but the Aggies would build a four point lead, their largest of the game, with 9:16 left to play after Hernst Laroche hit one of two free throws.
The game was tied at 63 with 4:56 left to play but Bakersfield would take a three point lead with 2:35 left on a jumper by Stephon Carter. The Aggies would respond with a McKines jumper to cut the Roadrunner lead to one and then took the lead, 71-69 with 1:17 left on a three pointer from Bandja Sy, his only three of the night. Issiah Grayson tied the game with 11 seconds left on a layup and then McKines would turn the ball over and foul Grayson leading to the wild finish which saw the Aggies come out victoriously.
New Mexico State shot just 7-of-22 in the second half but hit 21-of-26 free throw attempts in the half and finished the game 35-of-44 from the charity stripe, good for 79.5 percent. Bakersfield was hot from the floor in the second half hitting 14-of-26 but connected on just 2-of-8 from three point distance and hit just 6-of-19 attempts on the night.
Daniel Mullings recorded a career-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Wendell McKines had his double-double streak and his 20-plus point scoring streak stopped but finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds. Tyrone Watson's free throw heroics came on a night when he finished with nine points, all from the free throw line on the strength of a 9-for-10 performance. He added six assists and four rebounds and had just one turnover but countered with a steal.
Stephon Carter finished with 16 points for CSUB and was one of three Roadrunners in double-figures as Tyrone White and Donald Johnson both finished with 15 points apiece.
The Aggies head into conference play on Saturday when they travel to Ruston, LA to take on Louisiana Tech.