Aggie Rally Falls Short Again As Lobos Win Sixth Straight In I-25 Series, 84-78 In Overtime

Gordo CastilloThe Aggie men's basketball team lost 84-78 in overtime to in-state rival New Mexico on Saturday night. The overtime finish was the fourth game to end in overtime since 2000 but just the 13th in the series' 205 games with the Aggies falling to 6-7 in the overtime games.

The Aggies erased a 17-point first half deficit and a seven point deficit in the second half to force overtime. However, the Aggies would hit just one of 10 shots from the floor in overtime and could not overcome two three pointers by UNM's Phillip McDonald in the extra period.

Troy Gillenwater scored a career-high 32 points including 13 free throws in the loss. The Lobos' senior point guard Dairese Gary scored 19 points and was 11-of-14 from the free throw line. Aggie senior guard Gordo Castillo scored all 11 of his points in the final 8:30 of regulation including a jumper that tied the game with six seconds left sending the game to overtime.

With the game tied 9-9 five minutes in the Lobos would go on an 18-1 run over the next five and a half minutes to take a commanding 27-10 lead. However, the Aggies would slowly chip away. With four minutes left to play the Aggies trailed by 10 points but a pair of free throws by Troy Gillenwater sparked an 8-0 run that brought the Aggies to within two points at 37-35 with 1:46 left in the half. The Aggies would have the ball with the shot clock turned off looking for the last score of the half but point guard Hernst Laroche's dribble was stolen by Gary who would get a fast break layup to put the Lobos up 42-37 at halftime.

Coming out of the break Hernst Laroche would atone for his error by hitting a three pointer to cut the deficit back to two points at 42-40. The Lobos would go on an 8-3 run to take a seven point lead but a jumper by Troy Gillenwater would spark a 7-0 run that included a pair of bucket by Laroche including a fastbreak layup off a steal.

The Aggies would trail by just three after a steal and layup by Gordo Castillo but on the ensuing Lobo possession, Kendall Williams would hit a three pointer and be fouled by Renaldo Dixon in the process of the shot. Williams would hit the free throw for the rare four-point play giving the Lobos a 63-56 advantage with 8:01 left to play.

Trailing 68-64 with 5:06 remaining, the Aggies would get five straight points from Gordo Castillo to take their first lead of the game at 69-68 with 3:48 left to play. The Lobos would quickly retake the lead as Renaldo Dixon would foul Kendall Williams again with Williams hitting both free throws. Christian Kabongo would fouled Dairese Gary with 2:11 left putting Gary on the line for two foul shots. Gary would convert giving the Lobos a three point advantage with 2:11 left but Tyrone Watson would get a rebound and layup off a missed jumper from Troy Gillenwater with 1:38 left to draw the Aggies back to within a point at 72-71 After Gary hit one of two free throws with 41 seconds left to put the Lobos back up 73-71, Gordo Castillo would hit a jumper from 18 feet out with seven seconds left to tie the game at 73 apiece.

Kendall Williams' desperation shot from the right wing as time expired would hit the front of the rim and bounce off sending the teams to overtime.

In the overtime period it was the Phillip McDonald show for the Lobos as he hit a three pointer with 3:48 left to play to give the Lobos a 76-73 lead. The Aggies would get four straight points to take a 77-76 lead but McDonald would hit another three pointer with 1:53 left to play to give the Lobos a two points lead at 79-77 and they would not trail the rest of the way. The Aggies would score once more on a free throw from Bandja Sy and the Lobos would salt the game away from the free throw line for the 84-78 victory.

The Aggies struggled from the field shooting just 31.1 percent for the game while the Lobos finished the game hitting 50 percent from the field. Four Lobos finished in double-figures with Dairese Gary scoring 19, Kendall Williams and Phillip McDonald adding 18 and A.J. Hardeman finishing with 10. The Aggies had three in double-figures as Troy Gillenwater scored a game-high 32 points, Hernst Laroche added 13 before fouling out and Gordo Castillo had a season-high 11 points with all 11 points coming in the final 8:30 of regulation.

The Aggies fall to 2-6 on the season while the Lobos improve to 6-1. These two teams will meet next Saturday in Albuquerque at The Pit.