NMSU Men's Basketball Cruises Past Colorado State 89-76

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Big offensive night from Zach Lofton and Eli Chuha led the New Mexico State men’s basketball past Colorado State 89-76 in a midweek clash at the Pan American Center on Wednesday.

Lofton had his best game yet as an Aggie, pouring in 30 points on 12-of-15 shooting with eight rebounds – including a 4-of-7 night beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Chuha finally found his rhythm on the offensive end Wednesday night and erupted for 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting with four rebounds. Both players were very efficient from the floor for NM State (3-1), accounting for 61-percent of the team’s scoring.

New Mexico State and Colorado State (2-3) each had runs throughout the first half with the Rams tying things up three separate times, but was never able to overtake the Aggies in the scoring column.

Lofton didn’t cool down at all since last Friday’s victory over Battle of I-25 rival New Mexico, pouring in 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and gave the Aggies a 43-36 edge over the visiting Rams at the break. Chuha also chipped in with 11 points in the first half, including a 5-for-6 effort from the free-throw line.

New Mexico State tried to pull away a few times from Colorado State in the second half, but the Rams gritty identity kept chipping away every time the Aggies would try to build on its double-digit lead.

After a CSU head coach Larry Eustachy called a timeout with 13:58 on the clock, the duo of Lofton and Chuha scored the next 10 points and extended the lead to 67-50.

Sidy N’Dir, who finished with nine points, gave the Aggies their first of two 19-point leads with 8:30 left to play when he drained a 3-pointer from the wing and pushed the lead to 73-54.

Colorado State’s Che Bob, who finished with a team-high 21 points, did his best to chip away at the NM State lead but his efforts weren’t enough as NM State pulled away at the end, 89-76.

POSTGAME NOTES
The last time NM State had two players score 20-plus points came against UT Rio Grande Valley (3/4/17) at home...Lofton is the first player since former Aggie Braxton Huggins (at UMKC, 1/5/17) to score 30 points in a game…the last time NM State, who hit 11 shots from three tonight, drained 10-plus 3-pointers was against Seattle U (2/25/17)…this is the first time NM State has beaten Mountain West teams in consecutive games…the Aggies have now won four-straight games against MWC teams.

UP NEXT
The Aggies remain at home this week as they entertain another rival team in UTEP for the Battle of I-10 this Saturday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m. The Pan American Center ticket office will be open beginning at Noon on Friday, Nov. 24. Aggie fans can also purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster or by calling 575-646-1420.