NMSU Men's Basketball Races Past Bakersfield 69-43

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Balanced scoring and another 20-rebound night from Jemerrio Jones saw the New Mexico State men’s basketball team overpower CSU Bakersfield Thursday night 69-43 at the Pan American Center. The win pushed Aggie win-streak to 10-straight with an overall record of 21-3 and 8-0 mark in Western Athletic Conference play.

Jones, who finished with six points and 20 rebounds for the second-consecutive game, added three assists and two steals to his line while Zach Lofton recorded a game-high 14 points.

The last and only time an Aggie tallied 20 rebounds in back-to-back games was Sam Lacey during the Final Four year (1969-70). The 6-10 center did so against Montana State (2/9/70) and Air Force (2/14/70).

New Mexico State started the game off a little slow on the offensive end, hitting just 29-percent of its shots. The visiting Runners led for short spurts in the first 10 minutes before the Aggie offense woke up out of the media timeout with 7:10 left in the half.

CSUB (10-14, 3-6 WAC) scored first out of the break, but it was all NM State after that thanks to a 13-4 run to end the half for the 31-18 advantage. During that stretch, the Aggies scored 10-straight, despite shooting 0-for-8 from the floor thanks to their 11-of-11 shooting from the line.

Both teams went back-and-forth to start the second-half, but the lead for New Mexico State began to open after Lofton and Las Cruces native Joe Garza hit back-to-back triples for the 48-29 lead with 11:01 left to play.

That bled into a 15-3 run for the Aggies before Gabe Hadley drilled a three-ball to make it 66-36 with 3:42 on the clock. Not too long after that, the Aggie bench was cleared before the reserves sealed NM State’s final 69-43 victory.

The Aggies finished the night with 53 rebounds to CSUB’s 38 boards while turning the ball over just nine times. This is the seventh time NM State has kept its turnover numbers in the single-digits.

BY THE NUMBERS
Aggies have now won 15 of their last 16 games...Of the 13 available players that saw action, 11 Aggie players recorded at least one basket…this is the fourth time NM State has pulled down at least 50 rebounds in a single-game with 53 tonight against the Runners…the last time the Aggies had 50-plus rebounds was at Grand Canyon...the 10 long balls Thursday night is the sixth time NM State has hit 10 or more in a single-game…the 25.5-percent shooting by CSUB was the lowest by any opponent this season for NM State…the 43 points given up by NM State was also the least amount this season…the last time an opponent was held to 43 points or less was during the 2014-15 season at Utah Valley (2/19).

QOUTABLE
“They just put a lot of pressure on the ball handler and then not only that, the guys on the wings are in denial and you know they’re all in trying to deflect the ball and speed you up. Normally they take a lot of charges. I don’t think they had taken any tonight which is kudos to our team for staying away from it, but they just really get into you and they pressure you and they play really, really hard and I thought for the most part we handled it pretty well. I mean to have nine turnovers against a team like that is a really good number.” – Aggie head coach Chris Jans

UP NEXT
New Mexico State wraps up its four-game home-stand this Saturday, Feb. 10, as it entertains Grand Canyon for a 7 p.m. (MT) tilt in the Pan American Center for the third edition of the Pack the Pan Am promotion. Adam Young will have the call on the broadcast while former Aggie assistant Rus Bradburd serves as the analyst. For tickets to Saturday’s contest against the Lopes, fans can visit the Pan American Center ticket office or call via phone at 575-646-1420.