Aggies Drop First Road Loss to Sam Houston State in Huntsville

David White

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(Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics)

On January 20, the New Mexico State Men’s Basketball team traveled to Huntsville, Texas, to play the Sam Houston State University Bearkats in Johnson Coliseum. The Aggies, entering the game with a record of 15-2, looked to continue their winning ways against a 10-9 Sam Houston team. Junior guard Teddy Allen also known as “Teddy Buckets” was riding off his career high 41-point performance against Abilene Christian which rocked the Pan Am. Unfortunately, Allens streak of 17-straight games of 10 or more points came to a close against the Bearkats.

Despite a huge win and some incredible performances the prior week, the Aggies would struggle to find this same spark in Huntsville. NMSU had difficulty scoring from all the angles of the court. Ending the first half shooting 6-24 from the floor (25%), 3-12 from 3-point distance (25%), and even shooting 3-7 on free throw attempts (42.86%) the Aggies couldn’t find the net. On the other side, the Bearkats shot better than 53% in all three of the previous categories.

The starting rotation for this NM State team was unable to find much momentum on the offensive or defensive sides of the ball, leaving coach Jans to resort to substituting bench players early on into the game. 12 players on the NMSU roster received over 10 minutes of playing time in the game, with each individual ceasing to break double-digits in points. 

Redshirt Senior and Las Cruces native Johnny McCants and Senior Donnie Tillman led the team in scoring with 8 points each, while Sam Houston’s Savion Flagg led the Bearkats in scoring with a shattering 22 points in 24 minutes of play and 5-12 shooting from 3-point land. The Aggies entered the half down by 20-points, with a gut wrenching score of 38-18.

The second half proved just as lethal for this NM State team with a prevalence of Sam Houston’s domination. The Aggies finished off the game with 27% field-goal percentage, 22% from 3-point range, and 61% from the free-throw line. With the final score of 71-46, the Bearkats handled their business and then some, ending this Chris Jans teams 11-game win streak and handing them their first road loss of the year.

However, the Aggies bounced back after this lack-luster performance in their next match against SFA January 22nd in a big way. Teddy Allen (Buckets) was able to stir up some of that same magic from his 41-point performance gaining 26 points with Jabari Rice’s 21 points for 47 combined and redemption was found in a 72-58 win over SFA. Look forward to the return of this NM State team to the Pan Am, for the highly anticipated rematch against the reigning regular season and WAC tourney champs, the Grand Canyon Lopes Saturday January 29th at 7p.m. 



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