NMSU Men's Basketball Cruises Past UMKC 73-48

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

KANSAS CITY, MO - An offensive blitz coupled with a tough defensive stance in the second-half saw the New Mexico State men’s basketball team cruise past UMKC 73-48 Saturday night at Municipal Auditorium.

The win keeps NM State undefeated in league play and moves the Aggies to 18-3 overall on the year while pushing its win-streak to seven-straight along with its road win-streak.

The Aggies got a great jump to the game on a slam from Johnny McCants, who made his first-career start. An 8-2 run after the first media timeout then put the Aggies on top 15-6 with 9:50 left in the first-half.

Both teams hit a scoring lull before UMKC closed within 19-15 of the Aggies. However, after that media timeout with 3:29 left to play, New Mexico State closed out the first half with a 13-5 run to take a 32-20 lead against the ‘Roos.

Jemerrio Jones got the Aggies going in the second-half on a nice cross-paint pass from Johnathon Wilkins. NM State scored in spurts for the next eight minutes as it slowly built up the lead before Shunn Buchanan gave the Aggies a 53-37 advantage out of the media break on his second of two great finishes around the rim with 11:28 left to play.

Zach Lofton gave the Aggies their first 20-plus point lead when he drilled a 3-pointer at the wing with 7:26 left on the clock, 61-40. The largest lead of the game for NM State came with 1:11 left in the game when Leston Gordon hit a short baseline jumper that generated a roar from the Aggie bench.

NM State finished the game outscoring the ‘Roos 41-28 in the second-half and out-rebounded UMKC 30-15 in the final 20 minutes of play.

Lofton finished with a game-high 19 points with five rebounds while Jones and Chuha each chipped in with 10 points. Jones collected his 12th double-double of the year when he pulled down a defensive rebound at the 9:26 mark in the second-half before finishing with 15. Chuha also added six rebound on the night.

The 48 points by UMKC is the lowest amount of points allowed by NM State this season…the 48 points is also 15.5 points below the average points allowed by the Aggies…NM State turned 16 UMKC turnovers into 18 points while converting its 21 offensive boards into 21 points.

New Mexico State now returns home for a four-game homestand, beginning with Northern New Mexico at 7 p.m. (MT) on Tuesday, Jan. 30, before concluding the first-half of WAC play against UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m.