NMSU Men's Basketball Survives Colorado State In Overtime

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

GEORGETOWN, GRAND CAYMAN - Thursday night inside the Pan Am Center, redshirt sophomore Jabari Rice missed a potential game-winning corner three in the waning seconds against New Mexico which would have put his team in a great position to win.

With his team headed to overtime on international soil, Rice seized the moment and proceeded to get the job done.

Colorado State forced overtime when David Roddy drilled a pair of free throws with three seconds to go, but once the extra session started Rice simply took over and scored 12 of his game-high 21 points to lead the Aggies to a hard-fought 78-70 win over the Rams in the opening game of the 2019 Cayman Classic Monday afternoon inside John Gray Gymnasium.

A scorching hot shooting start allowed the Aggies to open up a 16-point lead (32-16) with 6:55 remaining in the opening stanza, but the Rams chipped away for the remainder of regulation and tied things up on two occasions through the second half.

• Given the directive to impose their will on the Rams, the Aggies did just that through the early stages of the opening frame. Trevelin Queen started the game with a fast-break dunk and added his lone three-pointer on the Aggies' ensuing possession to set the tone.
• Queen's single-handed scoring outburst was the start of something good for New Mexico State. The senior poured in nine of the Aggies' first 13 points of the game before giving way to his teammates. Through New Mexico State's sizable surge to start the game, Ivan Aurrecoechea, Johnny McCants and Shawn Williams each hit long-range shots.
• Aurrecoechea's downtown swish hiked the home team's lead to 15, 29-14, with 8:10 left in the half. On the Aggies' next possession, the senior sank the second of his two free throw tries to put his squad up 30-14.
• Shunn Buchanan kept it a 16-point edge for New Mexico State by hitting a runner in the lane with 6:55 to go in the stanza, but from there the Rams began their comeback.
• A pair of old-fashioned three-point plays as well as four points from Adam Thistlewood helped Colorado State close the half on a 13-2 run. Kendle Moore closed the scoring in the first half by converting a fast-break layup that shrank the Aggies' lead to 34-29 at the break.
• After hitting five of their first 10 tries from long range, the Aggies missed their last seven to close out the half. New Mexico State put up shooting splits of .500/.357/.750 in the frame compared to figures of .524/.571/.750 by the comeback-driven Rams.

• With one of the nation's premier interior scorers at their disposal, the Rams elected to get the rock to him early and often in order to try and grab the win. Colorado State turned to Nico Carvacho frequently in the second half and the senior managed to score five points during the Rams' 10-6 run through the first 5:03 of the second stanza.
• A free throw make by Carvacho cut the Aggies' lead down to 40-39, but the combination of Queen and Rice kept New Mexico State afloat. That pair combined to score 12 of the Aggies' first 14 points of the half and Queen hiked his point total to 17 with a jumper in the lane that extended New Mexico State's lead to 48-43.
• Queen's mid-range job turned out to be the last points the Aggies would put in for almost three minutes. Carvacho put the finishing touches on a 5-0 Colorado State run with a two-handed jam the knotted the game at 48-all with 9:06 left.
• C.J. Bobbitt took his turn in the spotlight after Carvacho's rim-rocker, scoring five in a row for the Aggies to power a 10-2 run that hiked the hosts' edge to 58-50 with 5:12 left in regulation. Rice canned a corner three during that spurt while McCants converted an off-balance second-chance layup to extend the Aggies' lead to 58-50.
• McCants flushed in a dunk with three minutes left to put the Aggies ahead 60-53, but seven Colorado State points in the last 2:43 of regulation forced overtime.

• Following 92 seconds of scoreless action, Rice handed the Aggies the lead for good by splashing a pair of shots at the foul line. That started a run where the sophomore slung in 12 of 14 points for New Mexico State.
• Rice ended his personal scoring surge with a straightaway three-pointer as time expired on the shot clock that put the Aggies up 72-63 with 47 seconds left.
• Letting their defense shine in the extra period, the Aggies didn't allow Colorado State to put in a field goal through the first 4:34 of overtime. Colorado State shot just .286/.333/.556 in overtime.

• Rice's scoring outburst represented the majority of the points generated by an offensive-minded New Mexico State bench unit. In all, 40 of the Aggies' 78 points (51.3-percent) came from their reserves and for the game New Mexico State's bench outscored the Rams' by a 40-18 margin.
• For just the second time this season, the Aggies never trailed in the game. The only other time so far this season New Mexico State never fell behind was in its season-opening victory over Western New Mexico.
• Rice (3-for-4) and Williams (2-for-3) combined to go 5-for-7 (.714) from long range in the Aggies' win. The rest of the team went 3-for-20 (.150).
• Joining Rice in double-digits was Queen who added 19 on 7-of-17 shooting. Bobbitt and McCants added nine points apiece in the win. Rice and Shunn Buchanan tied for game-highs in the rebounding department by totaling eight each.
• The Rams were led by Carvacho (18 points) and Stevens (17) points in their second-straight loss.
• With the win, New Mexico State pushed its winning streak over Colorado State to three games. The Aggies' all-time record against the Rams now stands at 4-5.(.444).
• New Mexico State head coach Chris Jans hiked his all-time record in overtime games to 3-1. That includes a 2-1 showing in OT tilts as the Aggies' head coach. Jans also moved to 6-2 (.750) in MTE games through his two-plus season in charge of New Mexico State.
• The win represented New Mexico State's first in a regular season game played in international territory in the history of the program.