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Aggies Lock Up 3-seed And First Round Bye With 77-68 Victory Over Nevada | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

Aggies Lock Up 3-seed And First Round Bye With 77-68 Victory Over Nevada

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The New Mexico State men's basketball team earned a 77-68 victory over Nevada on Senior Night on Saturday and with it earned the 3-seed and a first round bye in next week's WAC tournament where they'll face the winner of the 6 vs. 7 matchup.

The Aggies held Nevada to just 42.9 percent shooting while hitting 54 percent from the floor (27-of-50) and 58.3 percent from three point distance (7-of-12). The Aggies' lone senior, Gordo Castillo, played 38 minutes and scored 15 points hitting four threes including a critical three pointer in the second half with his team trailing 62-58 with 8:58 left in the game. The three pointer from Castillo would spur the Aggies to a 7-0 run giving them a 65-62 lead and they would not trail again in the game.

The Aggies jumped out to a 17-10 lead with 12:17 left in the first half but the Wolf Pack would cut the lead to just two after a three pointer from Deonte Burton with 8:52 left in the half. The Aggies would go on a 8-0 run to extend their lead to 10 at 27-17. The Aggies would maintain a 10 point advantage up 33-23 with 4:33 left as Troy Gillenwater hit a jumper but the Wolf Pack would go on a 9-0 run to take a 34-33 lead with 1:55 left in the half. The Aggies would get a jumper from Troy Gillenwater to regain the lead 35-34 but the Pack would get a pair of free throws from Deonte Burton to take a 36-35 lead into the halftime break.

The Pack would score the first basket up the second half to extend their lead to 38-35 but Gordo Castillo would bury a three to tie the game at 38 just a minute into the second half. The Aggies would extend their lead to five at 44-39 after a pair of free throws from Tshilidzi Nephawe and would maintain their five point lead at 47-42 after a layup from Troy Gillenwater.

The Wolf Pack would go on a 16-4 run to take a 58-51 lead as they would get back-to-back threes to cap the run. The Aggies would answer with a triple from Gillenwater to cut the deficit to four but the Wolf Pack would get a layup to extend their lead back to six. With the Wolf Pack leading by four, 62-58, Gordo Castillo would bury a three to bring the Aggies to within one with 7:55 left to play and the Aggies would take the lead on a pair of free throws from Christian Kabongo and would not trail the rest of the way holding on for the nine point victory.

Troy Gillenwater led all scrers with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds and added two blocks and a steal in his best defensive performance of the season. Castillo scored 15 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Tshilidzi Nephawe and Christian Kabongo each added 10 points while Hernst Laroche scored nine and Tyrone Watson chipped in eight.

The Wolf Pack were led by Deonte Burton and Dario Hunt's 14 points apiece. Olek Czyz and Malik Story each added 10 points.

The Aggies out-rebounded the Wolf Pack 35-25 and grabbed 12 offensive rebounds.