The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Aggies enter Jason Hooten era in Kentucky

Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics.

In a brand-new season and complete rebuild for the New Mexico State men’s basketball team, the Aggies battled and began their season with an 86-46 loss to the No. 16 University of Kentucky Wildcats.  

After last season’s hazing allegations and the cancelling of the season, the Aggies are led by first-year head coach Jason Hooten, who transferred from conference opponent Sam Houston State University after 13 years.  

The game tipped off with both teams playing competitively by trading baskets and misses before junior guard Christian Cook got the offense rolling by tallying five points in the first six minutes of the half while facing a two-point deficit. 

The Aggies kept fighting to stay in the game as junior guards Christian Cook and Jaylin Jackson-Posey fueled a 6-0 Aggie run. Despite the run, the Wildcats maintained a narrow lead over the Aggies through the early parts of the first half. 

Shortly after, the Wildcats went on a 7-2 run and extended their lead to seven points. The Aggies committed three consecutive shooting fouls that led to five successful Wildcat free throws in six attempts and a fast break layup by UK’s Rob Dillingham. 

Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics.

The Aggies retaliated and pushed to close the gap when junior forward Robert Carpenter drew a foul on a layup attempt to complete the three-point play and a layup to cut the lead down to two points. 

Despite going on small runs and the Wildcats leading through most of the first half, the Aggies remained resilient and kept the game close but fell to 37-29 before halftime. 

After a competitive first half, the Wildcats flipped the script, and dominated in the second half with an 11-4 run for a 13-point lead.  

Midway through half, the Wildcats extended their lead to 24 points as the Aggies’ defense was struggling to keep up. The Wildcat defense also overpowered the Aggies’, making it impossible for them to get quality shots off and holding them to two points in four minutes. 

The Wildcats never looked back and kept the momentum going and shot 58 % from the field and 31% from beyond the arc, while holding the Aggies to 32% overall shooting and 10% from the three-point line in the second half.  

The Wildcats second half dominance featured five players scoring in double figures for a combination of 65 while holding the Aggies to 17 points. After cashing in on every opportunity, the Wildcats finished the game with an 86-46 victory over the Aggies.  

The Aggies will host their first home game of the season at the Pan American Center against the Sul Ros State University Lobos on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. Coverage will be streamed on ESPN +. 

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About the Contributor
Victor Fierro
Victor Fierro, Sports Writer
Victor Fierro is starting his first year with The Round Up as a staff writer. He is currently a senior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a minor in Sports Marketing. He developed a passion for writing when he was in high school. His main goal is to become a play-by-play announcer for an NBA team. Victor loves to write game stories for all sports including basketball and football. Victor hopes working for The Round Up will help him grow as a person and a journalist.

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