Behind a season-high 20 points from Hernst Laroche and Wendell McKines' 11th double double of the season the Aggie men's basketball team turned back the Idaho Vandals on Saturday night. Trailing by two points at halftime, the Aggies opened the second half on an 11-4 run to take a five point lead, 46-41. Idaho regained the lead at 51-50 but he Aggies would go on a 7-0 run to take a 57-51 lead. Wendell McKines scored four straight points to give the Aggies 69-59 lead, their largest of the game to that point.
A quick Idaho 7-0 run cut the Aggies' lead to just three at 69-66 with 3:55 left but the Aggies would push the lead back to seven at 75-68 on a three point play by Tyrone Watson with 1:03 left to play and the Aggies would salt away the game from the free throw line in the final minute to pull away for the 80-68 win.
The Aggies jumped out to a quick 13-6 lead in the first half but Idaho would go on a 10-2 run to take a 16-15 lead with 12:19 left to play. After tying the game at 20, the Aggies fell behind 30-22 as Deremy Geiger hit a three pointer. The Aggies continued to trail by non after a Mike McChristian layup put Idaho up 34-25 with 5:30 left. The Aggies would go on a 6-0 run to cut the Idaho lead to three at 34-31 but seconds later Stephen Madison nailed a three pointer to go up 37-31 with 3:34 left. The Aggies would hold Idaho scoreless the rest of the half and would score the final four points of the half getting a dunk from Daniel Mullings and single free throws from Hernst Laroche with 1:21 and six seconds left.
The Aggies owned the glass out-rebounding Idaho 38-21. New Mexico State also went to the free throw line 32 times to just 12 times for Idaho. The Aggies finished the night shooting 71.9 percent (23-of-32) while Idaho was 9-of-12 from the charity stripe.
For the fourth consecutive game the Aggies held their opponent under their season three point shooting average as Idaho came into the game as the seventh best three point shooting team in the country at just over 41 percent but the Aggies held the Vandals to just 7-of-21 shooting from deep (33 percent).
The Aggies got a dozen points from Hamidu Rahman to go along with six rebounds and Tshilidzi Nephawe added 10 points. Tyrone Watson scored nine and grabbed five rebounds including crucial boards down the stretch of the second half.
Idaho was led by Connor Hill's 12 points while Deremy Geiger and Kyle Barone each scored 11. Djim Bandoumel scored 10 points and the Vandals had just one block in the game after coming into the game averaging over five per game.
The Aggies improve to 3-0 in WAC play, just their fourth 3-0 start in conference since the 1993-94 season.