Bandja Sy recorded his first career-double double as he scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds but a late rally by New Mexico State came up just short as the Aggies fell 91-87 at Hawai'i on Saturday night. The Aggies drop to 4-1 in WAC play while Hawai'i improves to 3-2.
The Aggies led the game early, 10-7 but UH would go on a 7-0 run to take a 14-10 lead as Zane Johnson hit one of his seven three pointers on the night to cap the run. A Hamidu Rahman free throw was the only point for New Mexico State as UH continued to pull away going on an 8-0 run to take a 23-11 lead with 8:20 remaining in the first half.
The Aggies would cut into UH's lead cutting it to just five at 23-18 but another Zane Johnson three would put UH back up by eight. The Aggies would trail 33-26 with 3:17 remaining in the half but would go on a 6-0 run capped by a thunderous dunk by Bandja Sy to cut the deficit to just one at 33-32 but Hawai'i would close the final 1:13 on an 11-2 run to take 44-34 lead into halftime.
The Aggies would cut into the Warriors' lead early in the second half as a Hamidu Rahman basket made the score 48-42 just three minutes into the second stanza, however, the Warriors would go on a 10-2 run to extend their lead to 14 points and with 11:51 to play the Warriors' lead had swelled to 19, 69-50.
The Aggies trailed by 17 with 6:19 left but would go on a 7-0 run over the next two minutes to cut the lead to 10. Hawai'i would hit four straight free throws to extend the lead back to 14 but New Mexico State would whittle the lead down to just six points on a Bandja Sy three pointer with 1:13 left to play. The Aggies would get no closer than four points the rest of the way as a Wendell McKines jumper would make the final score 91-87.
Five Aggies finished in double figures led by Bandja Sy's 17. Hamidu Rahman finished with 16, Wendell McKines added 14, Hernst Laroche finished with 13 and Daniel Mullings added 12. Tyrone Watson scored nine points, grabbed four rebounds, dished out five assists and had two steals before fouling out.
Zane Johnson led all scorers as he finished with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting including 7-of 16 from three point range. Vander Joaquim added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors.
New Mexico State's loss snaps a six-game winning streak. The Aggies return to action on Thursday night as they host league-leading Nevada (5-0) with first place on the line.