Aggie men’s basketball continue worst conference start since 1954-55 season

The New Mexico State men’s basketball campaign (7-11, 0-6 WAC) returned home Saturday evening to face off against UT Arlington (6-13, 1-5 WAC). Coming off a devastating 66-69 loss in Seattle, the Aggies looked to put an end to their worst conference-play start since going 0-8 to start the Border Conference in the 1954-55 season. The devastating losses would only continue, however, as NM State fell to the Mavericks 66-55. The Mavericks came into the game scoring a WAC-low 65.11 points per game and would meet that average in the win over the defending WAC champion Aggies.

Getting off to a great start opening the first, NM State held the Mavericks to just 11 made field goals on 17% from beyond the arc. A massive boost of energy from Kyle Feit off the bench with 9 points on 3 made three-pointers gave the Aggies a 33-26 lead going into the half.

Despite the momentum from the first, the opening minutes of the second proved lethal to the glimmer of hope NM State had for their first conference win of the season. As both teams came out from the break there was a clear shift in the dynamic of this Aggie team. Immediately after play began, NM State gave up a 9-0 UTA run to giving the Mavericks a quick 35-33 lead. Chi-Chi Avery was able to inject some life into the home bench with an emphatic dunk to tie the game at 35. However, the Mavs answered back with a deflating 17-3 run that ended at the 7:52 mark.

It would be all UT Arlington after that as they remained in control all throughout the second half outscoring the Aggies 40-22. NM State shot a momentum-killing 8 for 30 from the field in the half and despite the hot start from the three-point arc for Feit, the team would only end up sinking 2 of their final 14 attempts to close out the ball game.

Coach Heiar and the Aggie men will be forced to continue to desperately search for not only their first conference win, but for answers on how to turn this season around as they now find themselves at the bottom of the WAC conference.

New Mexico State now embarks on a three-game Utah road trip where they will match up against the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah to close out the season series on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 P.M. MT available to watch on ESPN+.

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