The New Mexico State men's basketball could not overcome 20 offensive rebounds and 21 second chance points by Southern Miss on Sunday afternoon in Hattiesburg as the Golden Eagles held off a late Aggie comeback defeating the Aggies 74-66 and dropping the Aggies to 5-3 on the season.
The Aggies trailed by 17 points four minutes into the second half but cut the Southern Miss lead down to just nine points using a 15-7 extended run capped by a two-handed dunk by Hamidu Rahman. However, the Aggies would turn the ball over on three of their next four possessions and the USM lead would swell back to 18 points at 65-47 with 8:31 left to play.
New Mexico State would hit a free throw to spark a 10-0 run over the next two and a half minutes to trim USM's lead to just eight points at 65-57. The Aggies would be able to trim the lead to seven points but could get no closer as the Golden Eagles owned the offensive glass down the stretch grabbing eight offensive boards in the final five and a half minutes.
The Aggies fell behind early in the game as Southern Miss opened the game on an 11-1 run and led 20-8 with 11:39 left in the half. The Aggies would get no clear than eight points and trailed by as many as 19 but would go on a 12-2 run to cut Southern Miss' lead to just nine at 35-26. However, the Golden Eagles would score the final five points of the half to take a 40-26 lead into the halftime break.
Wendell McKines' dunk with 10:23 left in the first put him over the 1,000 point mark for his career. McKines finished with 15 points and five rebounds. Christian Kabongo led the way for New Mexico State with 21 points and six rebounds and was 7-of-10 from the free throw line.
The Aggies shot 60 percent in the second half, 15-of-25 from the floor and 4-of-9 from three point distance. The Aggies finished the game shooting 50 percent from the floor and held Southern Miss to 29.6 percent shooting in the second half and 38.1 percent for the game. The Aggies were out-rebounded 42-33.