NMSU Men's Basketball Beats Eastern New Mexico 84-62

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Senior forward Jemerrio Jones became the first New Mexico State men’s basketball player to record a triple-double in Tuesday night’s 84-62 win over Eastern New Mexico since former Aggie All-American Daniel Mullings did so against Hawaii back on Feb. 23, 2012.

Jones finished the game with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against the Greyhounds while Mullings did it with 28 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists against the Rainbow Warriors.

“I am happy for him,” Aggie head coach Chris Jans said about Jones. “He deserves that. To be able to make the history books with a triple-double in his senior year and do it efficiently.”

The Aggies (8-2) and Greyhounds both got off to a hot start from the floor, hovering around the 50-percent mark heading into the 7:59 media timeout.

However, a 17-8 run by New Mexico State after that saw the Aggies head into the locker room leading the Greyhounds 39-27. NM State shot 53.6-percent from the floor on 15-of-28 shooting while nine of its 15 made field-goals came on assists.

Zach Lofton, who scored 19 of his game-high 29 points in the second-half, capped the 20-10 run off for New Mexico State when he rattled off six-straight points for the 59-37 lead. ENMU (3-8, 0-4 LSC) cut it down to 60-47 with 11:08 left to play when Devin Pullum knocked down a 3-pointer that was immediately answered by Lofton on the other end out of the media timeout.

The Aggies slowly built that lead back up to the 23 after Lofton drilled his fourth triple of the game with 4:10 remaining on the clock. A missed shot and lay-up on the other end by Sidy N’Dir made it 81-56 before a long-ball from Shunn Buchanan gave the Aggies their largest lead of the game, 84-58, with 2:18 left to play. That three from Buchanan pushed him in double-figures with 11 points, giving NM State its fifth player in double-figures.

Johnathon Wilkins had a great offensive night for NM State as well, scoring 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting with six assists while N’Dir finished with 13 points and four rebounds. Every Aggie suited up Tuesday night also saw action on the floor.

“I don’t remember playing with a player that got a triple-double,” said Lofton. “That’s crazy to see. In my head, I knew he was due for one. I knew he was a complete player.”

BY THE NUMBERS
New Mexico State dominated the points off turnovers category 20-9, converting 17 turnovers…the Aggies also dominated the paint against the Greyhounds 44-24…NM State finished the game with 21 rebounds…the last time the Aggies had 20-plus dimes was against UT Rio Grande Valley (22) on March 4, 2017…NM State has now shot above .500 for the fourth time this season after Tuesday night’s .593 shooting clip…the last time NM State had five players reach double-figures was against Long Beach State (12/3/16).

UP NEXT
The eight-game 37-day round swing for New Mexico State now begins as it hits the road to take on Illinois at 6 p.m. (MT) on Saturday, Dec. 16, inside the United Center. Jeff Levering will have the call on the Big Ten Network broadcast while former Illini basketball player Stephen Bardo, who played under Lou Henson when Illinois played in the 1989 Final Four.