NMSU Men's Basketball Drops Overtime Contest At Seattle U, 73-63

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

SEATTLE, WA - After battling back in regulation, 2-of-10 shooting by New Mexico State in the overtime period was not enough to answer Seattle U’s 16 points as it fell to the Redhawks 73-63 Saturday afternoon at KeyArena in men’s basketball action.

The Redhawks started the extra period with a deep triple before AJ Harris answered with a floater in the lane to make it 60-59 in favor or the home team. However, from there, it was Jordan Hill for Seattle U – who scored nine-straight points which put NM State behind 69-61 with 37 seconds left on the clock before eventually falling 73-63.

NM State (22-5, 9-2 WAC) struggled offensively for most of the second half as well as turned the ball over – including six in a 4:40 minute span that saw the Redhawks (19-9, 8-3 WAC) use to extend their lead to 49-39 with 7:28 left to play.

Zach Lofton scored on the first possession out of that media break on a turnaround jumper and then followed with a step-back 3-pointer to bring the Aggies within 49-44 of Seattle U with 6:13 on the clock. He then drain another on the following possession before NM State called a timeout with 2:37 on the clock down 55-52.

A block from Jemerrio Jones led to a bucket by the senior on NM State’s end of the floor followed by a then-huge 3-pointer from Lofton gave the Aggies a 57-55 lead with 1:19 left in regulation. Then with nine tickets left to play, a foul by Jones led to a pair of free-throws from Josh Hearlihy – which sent NM State into overtime for the first time this season.

The Aggie defense seemed like it was back to normal in the opening minutes of play, holding the Redhawks to just 25-percent shooting the first 5:21minutes for the 9-4 lead. NM State went up 17-14 at the 7:35 media break.

Seattle U then went on a 12-3 run that was fueled by several three-balls – two of which came from Richaud Gittens – and put the Aggies behind 23-20 with 3:48 left in the first half. NM State didn’t back down as it clawed away at the SU lead and tied things up at 28-28 at the break thanks to a nice feed from Harris to Lofton with two seconds on the clock.

Lofton finished the game with his first double-double of the season, pouring in 26 points while pulling down 12 rebounds on 6-of-12 shooting beyond the arc. The senior’s hot-hand scored 17 of his 26 points in the second-half alone. Jones was a bucket shy of his 16th double-double, pulling down 10 rebounds with eight points.

NM State was out-rebounded for the second-straight game, this time to SU 44-43…Seattle U’s Hill finished with a team-high 24 points – 11 of which came in the overtime period…the last time NM State lost two in a row was at about the same time last year when it fell to CSU Bakersfield and GCU in mid-February.

The Aggies now return home for their final two home games of the 2017-18 season as it wraps up the weekend with senior day on Saturday, Feb. 24, against UMKC. Before taking on the Roos, NM State will entertain Chicago State for a Thursday night contest on Feb. 22. Both games are scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. (MT) with Adam Young (@youngpbp) on the call for Saturday’s televised broadcast.