Baker's Buzzer Beater Gives Aggies 68-67 Win At Bakersfield In 2OT

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

BAKERSFIELD, CA - New Mexico State junior Ian Baker drilled a 28-foot 3-pointer as time expired in the second overtime to lead the Aggies to a 68-67 win over CSU Bakersfield Saturday night at the Icardo Center.

The Aggies (13-8, 5-1) won their fourth straight and moved into a second-place tie in the Western Athletic Conference with the 'Runners (14-6, 4-1) who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

"That was a great shot by Ian," said NM State head coach Marvin Menzies. "but it was great defense down the stretch that got us there. Our guys were not going to be denied this game. I can't say enough about the maturity they showed under adversity."

The Aggies held the lead only twice in the contest, once with 2:47 to play in the second overtime on a Pascal Siakam layup and at the buzzer on Baker's triple.

The Aggies battled back from a poor first half to get into a position for Baker's heroics.

NM State trailed 31-18 with 30 seconds remaining in the first half when the Aggies worked for a Tanveer Bhullar layup with three seconds left to put the Aggies down 31-20 at the half. NM State had shot only 28 percent from the floor in the first half.

In the second, the Aggies got a 6-0 run to start the second half completing an 8-0 run, before CSUB got a 6-0 run to answer.

The 'Runners extended their lead to 14 with 10:48 to play in regulation on Jaylin Arrington's 3-pointer. The Aggies came back with a Sidy Ndir 3-pointer, but Arrington added another jumper to claim a 13-point lead, 47-34 with 10:10 to play.

That would be the last field goal that CSUB would get in regulation.

NM State's defense went into overdrive as the offense came alive.

Aggie sophomore Matt Taylor buried a 3-pointer that keyed the comeback as they defense held the 'Runners scoreless for just over nine minutes during the Aggies 10-0 run.

CSUB's Kevin Mays hit one of two free throws with 1:04 to play to take a four-point lead at 48-44.

However NM State got a pair of free throws from Baker and a layup from Pascal Siakam with 16 seconds left to tie the game at 48-all. A final shot in regulation by the 'Runners was errant and sent the game to overtime.

NM State and CSUB traded shots in the first overtime when Siakam was fouled on a layup with 1:31 left. But the free throw rimmed out and the neither team sending the game to a second extra period tied at 54.

In the second overtime, the 'Runners jumped out to a three-point lead on Kevin Mays layup, only to have the Aggies Johnathon Wilkins and Siakam get layups to give the Aggies their first lead at 59-58 with 2:49 remaining.

Bakersfield's Arrington rained down a 3-pointer giving CSUB the lead at 61-59 with 2:19, with Baker answering it with a layup to tie the game 20 seconds later.

With 44 second remaining, Siakam fouled out trying to block Aly Ahmed's shot. The CSUB senior nailed both free throws to give the 'Runners a 65-63 lead.

After going up three when Brent Wrapp hit 1-of-2 free throws with 16 seconds left, the Aggies Tanveer Bhullar got a layup to cut the lead to one with nine seconds remaining.

The Aggies fouled Arrington with just under seven seconds left. Arrington made the first free throw for a 67-65 lead, but missed the second. Baker got the rebound and brought the ball up the floor and calmly buried a straight on 28-footer as the horn sounded for the win.

"I felt like I was in good rhythm and he gave me some space. So I just knocked it down," said Baker.

Siakam led the Aggies with 21 points, but managed only nine rebounds that snapped his streak of 10 straight double-doubles. He also recorded three blocks.

Baker scored 16 points and record a career-high 10 rebounds for his first career-double-double. He also dished out 10 assists.

Wilkins added 10 points with three boards.

Arrington led CSUB with 16 points, while Dedrick Basile added 12 and Ahmed double-doubled with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

The Aggies improved their second half shooting to 48 percent and held CSUB to just 28 percent in the second. For the game NM State outshot CSUB 42.6 percent to 38.5 percent.

The 'Runners outrebounded NM State 45-40.

The Aggies complete the first round of WAC play when they return to play next Saturday at the Pan American Center by hosting UT Rio Grande Valley in a 7 p.m. game.