NMSU Men's Basketball Opens Season With 92-46 Rout Of Western New Mexico

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State men’s basketball team opened up its 2019-20 campaign inside the Pan American Center versus Western New Mexico on Tuesday night. After scoring the first 16 points of the game, the Aggies never looked back en route to a decisive 92-46 win over the Mustangs at home.

Following the lopsided season-opening victory head coach Chris Jans said, “Obviously they were outmanned and we anticipated that as coaches, but we kept telling the guys to play against the game and play to get better. We didn’t want them to get caught up in the score and that’s probably the brightest spot for me that they handled that in a mature way.”

NM State entered the contest against Western New Mexico missing three key starters, but that did not seem to hold back the Aggies one bit on opening night. After 2019 WAC Tournament MVP Trevelin Queen put up the first points of the new season, the Aggies then jumped out to a quick 16-0 lead in the first 5:30 of action.

Western New Mexico was able to get on the board at the 14:30 mark with their first basket of the night, but momentum clearly remained in favor of the Crimson & White who went on a 13-0 run before the Mustangs could muster up their next basket at the 7:52 mark of the first half.

Play in the first half continued to be paced by the Aggies who closed out the final seven minutes outscoring the opposition, 23-10, to head into the locker room ahead of the Mustangs 52-16. Play at the half was led by Jabari Rice who had already surpassed his career-high putting up 14 points, followed by Queen who added 10 of his own.

At the start of the second half, WNMU looked to have some new life trying to get back into the game scoring two of the first three baskets. However, NM State quickly put an end to that rattling off a 13-2 run to put the home teams lead at 67-23 when a media timeout was called with 12:00 remaining.

After the break the sides looked to trade baskets before the Mustangs went on a 7-0 run, which was their largest of the contest. To close out the game just as coach Jans’ Aggies were able to do throughout the historic 2018-19 season, the team used its depth with 11 players seeing action that helped the team secure the opening night win over Western New Mexico, 92-46.

When the night came to a close five NM State players posted double-digit scoring, led by Rice who put up a personal best 21 points, followed by Queen with 14, William McNair added 11 in his first career game in the Crimson & White, while Shawn Williams also put up 10 points in his first game as an Aggie and Ivan Aurrecoechea added 10 as well. Another first-time scorer for NM State was Las Cruces native Tennessee Owens who scored seven points with the first basket for the hometown player coming from beyond the arc to get him on the board.

NM State was 30-of-55 (54.5%) from the field and outrebounded WNMU 40-18. At the line, the Aggies were 23-for-28 (82.1%) and forced 14 turnover, including five steals.

The New Mexico State men’s basketball team now takes a week off before heading right down the road for the Battle of I-10 rivalry matchup at UTEP on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. MT inside of the Don Haskins Center.