NM State Falls 73-53 To St. Mary's

Tshilidzi NephaweThe Aggie men's basketball team had their four game winning streak snapped by St. Mary's on Thursday night falling 73-53.

The Aggie defense pitched a shutout through the first five minutes but could only build a 6-0 lead. The Gaels scored their first two buckets off of layups to cut the Aggies' lead to two at 6-4. The Aggies would lead the Gaels 11-6 after a three from Tyrone Watson. The Aggies would take a 16-12 lead after a Tshilidzi Nephawe three point play with 10:06 left in the half but the Gaels would get back-to-back buckets from Matthew Dellavadova including their first three pointer to take a 17-16 lead. St. Mary's would continue their run to take a 21-16 lead with 7:34 left in the half.

The Aggies would get a three point play from Christian Kabongo to draw to within two at 23-21 but the Gaels would answer with a three from Clint Steindl to go back ahead 26-21. After a fare throw from Christian Kabongo cut the Gaels' lead to 26-22 but the Gaels would answer with a 5-0 run to take a 31-22 lead prompting a 30-second timeout from head coach Marvin Menzies. The Aggies would pull to within five at 33-28 after a pair of Hernst Laroche buckets but the Gaels would outscore the Aggies 6-2 over the final 2:14 to take a 39-30 lead into the break.

The Gaels would open the first three and a half minutes of the second half on a 7-2 run to extend their lead to 14 points at 46-32. The Aggies would go on a 9-2 run to cut the Gaels' lead to 48-41 but they would get no closer as the Gaels would hit a pair of threes to take a 61-46 lead with just under eight minutes left to play and would extend their lead to 20 points at 65-45 with under six minutes left. Hernst Laroche would foul out with 3:57 left to play finishing with 12 points. The Aggies and Gaels would play even over the final four minutes as the Gaels would go on to win 73-53.

Christian Kabongo led the Aggies with 16 points. Hernst Laroche finished with 12 points before fouling out and Tshilidzi Nephawe finished with eight minutes, six points coming from the free throw line. St. Mary's was led by Mitchell Young who finished with 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting. Matthew Dellavedova added 12 points and six assists.

The Aggies fall to 6-8 overall and begin non-conference play on Wednesday, December 29th at Idaho.