Aggie Men's Basketball Falls At Long Beach State 67-53

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LONG BEACH, CA - The New Mexico State Aggies had its worst shooting game of the season as the Aggies fell for the second time on the road with a 67-53 loss to Long Beach State at Walter Pyramid.

NM State (5-3) shot just 33 percent from the floor, hitting 18-of-54 from the field. Long Beach State (5-4) connected on 43 percent from the field, but it was the 49ers 56 percent from the 3-point arc that did in the Aggies. LBSU canned 14-of-25 shots from beyond the arc.

"Long Beach State played like a top 25 team tonight," said NM State Coach Marvin Menzies. "They just shot the heck out of the ball and they did a great job. We had so many shots right at the basket that normally go down that came out. We also didn't do a very good job taking care of the ball and then it was too big of a mountain to get over."

The Aggies and 49ers played close early before Long Beach went on an 18-2 run midway through the first half to hold a 15-point lead at 28-13.

But the Aggies countered with a 13-2 run over the last 8:49 to pull within four at the half, trailing 30-26.

NM State got the first two of the second half on a Johnathan Wilkin jumper to close it to 30-28, but that would be as close as the Aggies would get.

The 49ers used a powerful zone defense to start a 7-0 run right afterward for a nine-point advantage in the next three minutes. Beach put it away with an 11-2 run and never looked back.

NM State outrebounded Long Beach 43-36, but it was the Aggies 17 turnovers to the 49ers 12 that hurt the cause.

"This was a loss by committee, a collective debacle of mental breakdowns that young teams have. The road is vicious and it reared its ugly head tonight."

The Aggies struggled to get it to sophomore Pascal Siakam, who still managed to score 14 points with 11 rebounds to the lead NM State with his seventh double-double of the season.

"He hurried his shot tonight and he got a little anxious when we were down," said Menzies of Siakam. "He was quick to shoot it and didn't really have the balance that he normally has. They doubled him and tripled him at times. He had a bad game, but he can learn from this."

The Aggies also got 10 points from junior Ian Baker. Sophomore Braxton Huggins collected eight points.

Long Beach got 16 points from Nick Faust, and 14 points from both A.J. Spencer and Justin Bibbins. The trio accounted for 11 of the 14 3-pointers made by the 49ers.

NM State is off for the next week for fall semester final examinations. The Aggies return to the hardwood next Sunday, Dec. 13 when they host Wyoming at the Pan American Center. Tipoff for the game is 7 p.m.