NMSU Men's Basketball Edges Southeastern 90-83 In Exhibition

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Plenty to improve upon after the New Mexico State men’s basketball team edged past Southeastern Wednesday night, 90-83, in the Pan American Center.

“We played a lot of guys, I think we played 10 guys 12-plus minutes” remarked head coach Chris Jans. “As you mentioned, we played a lot of different line ups. That’s what these games are for, they are great opportunities to get the rust off for the returnees and throw the new guys into the fire and see what they are made of. Obviously with the returnees there was a big gap between productivity with the guys that have been there to the new guys in our program.”

Southeastern came out of the gates and traded buckets with NM State, taking no more than a three point lead for a good 13 minutes of action. However, the Aggie offense found itself after the third media timeout.

Eli Chuha didn’t waste any time out of the under-eight media timeout, scoring immediately with an easy bucket in the lane. Joe Garza drained back-to-back 3-pointers after that and pushed the Aggie lead up to 39-28.

After an exchange of baskets between both teams, Garza hit his third triple of the game to give NM State the 46-35 lead heading into the break.

What helped NM State down the stretch in the first half were forced turnovers, which they converted 12 Savage Storm turnovers for 18 points.

The Aggies were a bit sluggish to start the second half, scoring just two points and had their lead cut to 48-46 on an 8-0 run by the Savage Storm. Sidy N’Dir jump-started the offense after completing an and-1.

N’Dir then forced Southeastern to call its second timeout of the game after throwing down a ferocious dunk on his steal to put NM State ahead 57-48 with 11:55 left to play.

After a layup by Southeastern’s Ryan Scott-McGuire, Johnathon Wilkins and Jemerrio Jones gave NM State its largest lead of the game at 63-50. Both came on a second-chance possession.

Southeastern didn’t back down and brought it within 72-68 on a DJ Henderson 3-pointer, but NM State’s seniors pushed the lead back up to 86-77 before the Aggies secured the 90-83 victory.

Chuha led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting and seven boards, including a 2-of-4 night beyond the arc. Jones started where he left off last season, filling the stat sheet with 18 points to go with 10 rebounds (seven offensive), three steals and two assists. Wilkins had a great shooting night as well, recording 15 points and seven boards on 6-of-9 shooting with a perfect 3-of-3 night from deep.

Sidy’s return to the line-up saw him finish with eight points and four assists with a pair of steals in 18 minutes of action. Las Cruces native Joe Garza got the start and had nine points and three assists, with all nine points from three.

By the Numbers: NM State scored 52 of its 90 points from the paint compared to Southeastern’s 24…the Aggies also turned 18 turnovers into 28 points while getting 16 second-chance points.

NM State now heads to Midland, Texas, for a charity relief game against the Red Raiders of Texas Tech at noon (MT)/1 p.m. (CT). Tickets are just $10 for general admission with all proceeds benefiting the Greater Houston Community Foundation. To purchase tickets, visit www.TexasTech.com or by calling 806-742-8324 (TECH). Doors are set to open at noon local time (CT).