The New Mexico State men's basketball team defeated 6-seed Hawai'i 92-81 in the WAC semifinals on Friday night to advance to their second championship game in three years. The Aggies opened the game on a 22-2 run and led Hawai'i 38-20 but the Warriors cut the lead to six with 3:28 left to play outscoring the Aggies 12-0. Tshilidzi Nephawe would break the run with a layup to put the Aggies back up by eight and the teams would trade baskets before a pair of Louisiana Tech free throws would again cut the lead to six. Hernst Laroche would send the Aggies into halftime with a nine point advantage hitting a three pointer with 48 seconds left to play in the half.
Hawai'i cut the Aggies' lead to four points just over a minute and a half into the second half prompting an Aggie timeout. The Aggies would respond with four quick points, a consistent theme the rest of the game, to push their lead back to eight points. The Aggies lead would fluctuation from nine points down to five but Hawai'i would cut it to four points again with 12:21 left to play. A Bandja Sy layup would give the Aggies a six point cushion but just over a minute later the Warriors would cut the Aggies' lead to just one.
On the very next possession Hernst Laroche would bury a three pointer from the top of the key and get fouled. He made the free throw giving the Aggies a five point cushion with 10:15 left. Hawai'i would quickly cut the lead to three but New Mexico State would get a layup from Wendell McKines and a three point play from Tshilidzi Nephawe to extend the lead to eight points with 5:39 to go. Continue Reading This Post >>