Christian Kabongo Scores Career-High 21 But Aggies Fall 78-62 To UNM

Christian KabongoThe Aggies lost their seventh straight game of the season as a career-high 21 points from Christian Kabongo was not enough to offset the loss of Troy Gillenwater who suffered a turned ankle in the first half and was limited to three points in eight minutes. Dairese Gary led the Lobos with 16 points while Kendall Williams added 15 en route to the Lobos' seventh consecutive victory in the series.

Dairese Gary scored the game's first point getting a layup but Hamidu Rahman tied the game at 2-2 with a layup of his own. Kendall Williams answered with a three pointer to give the Lobos a three point lead at 5-2. Hernst Laroche's jumper with cut the deficit to just one at 5-4 with 18:37 to go in the half. UNM would extend the lead back to three points taking a 7-4 lead but the Aggies would respond with a 7-2 run to take an 11-9 lead at the under 16 minute media timeout as Gordo Castillo would hit a three pointer with 15:32 left in the half.

Hernst Laroche would hit a pair of free throws to give the Aggies their largest lead of the game at 13-9 with 15:23 left in the half. Neither team would generate much offense over the next four minutes as the Aggies would lead 13-11 at the under 12 minute media timeout. Out of the timeout UNM's Dairese Gary would hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 13-13 and after a three pointer and a free throw they would hold a 17-13 lead with 10:35 left to play. The Aggies would respond with a 5-1 run to tie the game at 18, however, the Lobos would go on a 7-0 run converting a pair of Aggie turnovers into dunks to take a 25-18 lead with 8:41 left in the half.

After a jumper by Renaldo Dixon cut the UNM lead to 25-20, the teams would trade three pointers making the score 28-23. A fast break layup by Christian Kabongo would cut the Lobo lead to just three points at 28-25 with 7:11 left in the half. The Lobos would go on an 8-0 run to take the largest lead of the game on either side at 36-25 with 4:13 left in the half. The Aggies would again answer UNM's run by going on a 7-2 run to cut their deficit to just six points at 38-32 with 1:53 left in the half. The Aggies would give up a layup to Jamal Fenton but a pair of free throws by Christian Kabongo would keep the deficit at six with the Aggies trailing 40-34 with 58 seconds left. Hamidu Rahman would get a layup by Hamidu Rahman as he was also fouled on the play. Rahman would miss the free throw but the Aggies would trail by just four points at 40-36. Tyrone Watson would commit a foul with 1.6 seconds left and Dairese Gary would hit one of two free throws to give the Lobos a 41-36 lead at halftime.

The Lobos would score the first points of the second half getting a pair of free throws from Kendall Williams to up their lead to seven at 43-36 and would extend the lead to nine on a short jumper by Alex Kirk but the Aggies would get a jumper from Christian Kabongo followed by a fast break layup from Hamidu Rahman to cut the lead back down to 45-40. With 17:09 left in the game, UNM head Coach Steve Alford would receive a technical foul and Gordo Castillo would hit one of two free throws to trim the Lobo lead to just three at 45-42. Christian Kabongo would get fouled and hit a pair of free throws to trim the lead to just one at 45-44 and with 15:23 Kabongo would get his 18th and 19th points on a goaltending call against the Lobos on a fast break giving the Aggies their first lead of the second half at 46-45.

The Lobos would respond with a quick 9-0 run on three consecutive layups and a three pointer from Dairese Gary to take and eight point lead at 54-46 with 13:18 left to play forcing an Aggie timeout. Emmanuel Negedu would continue the run getting a layup and was fouled by Tshilidzi Nephawe. He would not hit the free throw but the Lobo lead would grow to nine at 56-46. Dairese Gary would continue the run getting a coast-to-coast layup off a missed jumper by Christian Kabongo. Nephawe would foul Gary on the play but he too would be unable to convert on the and-one but the Lobos would have their largest lead at 58-46 with 12:25 left to play.

Out of the under 12 minute media timeout Gordo Castillo would end the Lobo run with a three pointer bringing the Aggies back to within nine points at 58-49 with 11:51 left to play. After a two and a half minute scoring drought by both teams, Dairese Gary would get a layup to make the score 60-49 with 9:17 left to play.

Hamidu Rahman would hit a pair of free throws with 9:17 left to play to bring the Aggies back to within nine points at 60-51. After Emmanuel Negedu hit one of two free throws to make the score 61-51, the Lobos would get a three from Dairese Gary and a putback from Cameron Bairstow to take their largest lead of the game at 66-51 with 7:34 left to play. Negedu would hit a pair of free throws to push the lead to 68-51 and Dairese Gary would get a layup to give the Lobos a 70-51 lead. Christian Kabongo would get the Aggies' first basket in nearly seven minutes getting a layup to cut the deficit to 70-53.

The Lobos would get four more points to take a 74-53 lead with 3:36 left to play. Hernst Laroche would hit a three pointer to bring the Aggies to within 18 at 74-56 with 3:15 left to play. The Aggies would outscore the Lobos 6-2 over the next two minutes to trim the deficit to 14 points at 76-62. UNM would add a pair of free throws to make the final deficit 78-62.

The Aggies finished the game shooting 36 percent from the floor hitting 18-of-50 shots and 5-of-20 from three point distance.

Hamidu Rahman returned from a calf injury to post his first double-double of the season scoring 14 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Hernst Laroche finished with 11 points and Gordo Castillo finished with nine points including a pair of three pointers.

The Aggies fall to 2-7 on the season and return to action on Monday night against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.