NMSU Men's Basketball Defeats Arizona Christian 100-52 In Season Opener

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. = The NM State men’s basketball team played hard and never let up as it walked away with the 100-52 victory over Arizona State in front of a raucous crowd in the Pan American Center. The win also gave head coach Paul Weir his first victory as a Division I head coach.

“I’m really open to starting different guys and doing different things for defense or offense,” Weir said when asked about his starting line-up moving forward. “But I think collectively overall, we did what we wanted to do offensively tonight. We have a long way to go. But as a step one, it wasn’t bad.”

Like the women’s game, NM State gave up an opening bucket and answered back with 25-4 run that spanned 7:51 minutes until ACU’s Mishima Gray rattled in a 3-pointer at the 10:30 mark. During that stretch, Aggie fans saw a tenacious defense that turned the Firestorm over eight times.

ACU slowly chipped away at the Aggie lead midway through the first half, but a late surge by New Mexico State saw them take a 45-25 lead into the locker room thanks to a .445 shooting clip.

As well as the Aggies played in the first half, the second half was even better for New Mexico State. The up-tempo offense that Weir had talked about was on full display in the second half as the Aggies went on a 27-2 run to open the half. Shy McClelland, who struggled all night in foul trouble, mustered the only basket for ACU during that stretch that lasted for 8:51 minutes.

NM State didn’t take its foot of the pedal and pushed to 53 at one point near the end of the game, but settled for the 100-52 win.

As a team, the Aggies had seven players reach double-figures while Eli Chuha and Jalyn Pennie racked up double-doubles. The key to NM State’s successful night was its ability to convert 36 points off turnovers while also taking advantage the second-chance scoring opportunities, which NM State turned into 22 points.

The Aggies now travel to Ft. Collins, Colo., as they get their first road test of the season against Colorado State on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. (MT) on ROOT Sports.

POSTGAME NOTES: M. Jones made his first-career basket as an Aggie at the 17:57 mark in the first half…J. Jones also picked up his first points in the Crimson and White at the 15:40 mark on a pass from Eli Chuha…Las Cruces native, Joe Garza made his debut as an Aggie at the 13:41 mark in the second half…Chancellor Ellis also made his debut and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers…the 100 points is the most by an Aggie team since Hawaii on Feb. 23, 2012…Sidy N’Dir tied his career-high with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and 4-of-4 at the line…Chuha’s 12 boards is also a new career-high for the redshirt sophomore…Matt Taylor’s 13 points is also a new career-high for the redshirt junior…Pennie’s 11 boards bested his career-high of nine.