Aggies complete double-digit comeback to improve to 8-1 in WAC play

The NM State basketball team continued its success Thursday night after defeating the California Baptist Lancers 68-57. The Aggies won their third consecutive game behind Teddy Allen’s second half surge, scoring 19 while notching his 1,000th career point. Joining teammate Donnie Tillman as the only current member of the 1,000-point club. NM State’s record inside the Pan Am remains a perfect 30-0 against WAC opponents.  

Despite being his first start of the season, Yuat Alok shot a perfect 4-4 in the opening minutes to give the team an early 11-2 lead. CBU would then go on a 12-3 run of their own to tie the game at 14 with a little under eight minutes left in the half. After trading blows, the game was tied at 21 following the “under four” minute media timeout. The Lancers took the lead behind three consecutive three-point field goals by junior guard Chance Hunter, finishing on a 13-2 run with a 8-16 shooting display from behind the three point arc, which allowed the Lancers to take the first half lead.  

Down 10 to begin the second half, the Aggies looked to get the ball into the hands of the team’s leading scorer; Teddy Allen. The game changed when Allen made three consecutive trips to the free throw line. Continuing his season-long success from the stripe, Allen went on a personal 7-0 run to ignite the Aggie comeback. The 7-0 personal run by Allen turned into a scoring run of 14-0 to give the Aggies the lead with a little under 15 minutes left.   

After gaining the lead at the 14:59 minute mark, the Aggies never looked back. Sir’ Jabari Rice finished the game with 16 points, to go along with five rebounds and five assists, but it was his 12-point second half that geared the team forward. Las Cruces native, Johnny McCants, added to the comeback scoring eight of his 12 points in the second half while shooting a perfect 4-4. McCants capped a 6-0 game-sealing run after throwing down a powerful two hand slam.   

“I would implore and ask our fan base to continue to support these kids, this team. We’re 18-3, in the middle of a conference race. It’s not coach speak, it’s a big deal. They help the environment, they help us in stretches and you can feel and hear them … and I’m appreciative of the ones that showed up tonight,” Coach Jans explained.   

The Aggies now improve to 18-3 on the season and 8-1 in the WAC. The Aggies host Seattle U Saturday at 4 p.m., where the winner will take sole possession of first place in the WAC standings.  

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