Written by: NMSU Athletic Dept.
FRESNO, CA - The New Mexico State men’s basketball team recorded a come from behind victory at Fresno State, 69-64, Saturday, March 1 in Fresno, Calif. Senior guard/forward Justin Hawkins had a team-high 14 points.
The Aggies were 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the last 30 seconds of the game with senior center Hatila Passos and freshman guard Jahmar Young hitting vital free throws. For the first time this season, the Aggies earned a win after trailing at half.
Sophomore guard Jonathan Gibson added 12 points while both senior guard Fred Peete and freshman forward Herb Pope supplied 11.
With the Aggies trailing 64-63 at the 1:35 mark, NMSU and Pope answered with a jumper to take the 65-64 advantage. After a pair of misses from both teams, Fresno State senior guard Kevin Bell lost the handle on the way to the basketball and Passos stepped up and stole the ball. Then Young was fouled on the outlet pass and he proceed to make both free throws to give the Aggies the 67-64 lead.
After a solid defensive stand, Passos gave the Aggies a five-point lead, 69-64, with a pair of free throws.
In addition to the victory, Hawkins recorded an individual milestone when he became the 24th-member of the Aggie 1,000-point club at the 13:30 mark with a dunk on a cross-court pass from Peete.
The Aggies recorded their first lead of the game, 49-48, with 9:24 remaining on a lay-up from Gibson on an inbounds play.
The Aggie offense was extremely balanced in the first half with Gibson leading the way with five points. Hawkins, Pope and Passos added four points apiece but NMSU was behind 30-24 at the break.
The first half was two different stories for the Aggies. The NMSU offense came alive in the second 10:00 when Passos' jumper began a 10-0 run.