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The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

NMSU men’s basketball emerges victorious in home opener

David Castañeda
Guard Jaylin Jackson-Posey soars over the Sul Ross Lobos on Nov. 8, 2023.

In the first of many home games in the Jason Hooten era, the New Mexico State University men’s basketball team had fans going home with smiles after an 84-49 victory over Sul Ross State University Lobos. Senior Jordan Rawls led the Aggies offensively with 15 points and four rebounds while graduate student Kaosi Ezeagu followed with 14 points and nine rebounds — just one rebound shy of a double-double.  

As fans packed inside the Pan American Center, they were about to witness a new era of Aggie basketball. After Monday’s loss at Kentucky, the Aggies looked to pull off their first win of the season.  

“What an exciting night to be able to come out and play in front of a crowd like that,” head coach Jason Hooten said. “I mean it was spectacular.” 

The Aggies were off to a great start with an early three from junior guard Christian Cook but SRSU’s Gabe Sanchez made his presence known with back-to-back triples to tie the game at 10-10.  

After a few plays to get ahead, the Aggies started to let up and after a five-point run, the Lobos recovered and retook the lead 21-16.  

“We looked a little sluggish, and I’m not making excuses for our guys,” Hooten after the contest.  

As the Aggies struggled in the winding minutes of the half, they saw relief after a last-minute rebound from senior Jordan Rawls that he took down the court to drain a jumper to extend the lead. Not even seconds later, Rawls was fouled in the paint and drained two free throws attempts. After SRSU’s Tyler Jackson made a lay-up with seconds left in the half, Rawls went for one more jumper, but missed as the Aggies headed into the half with a 43-35 lead.  

Forward Clarence “Monzy” Jackson evades a Lobo. Nov. 8, 2023. (David Castañeda)

The second half was all business for the Aggies as Rawls was the center of attention after making a layup before being fouled for another free throw attempt. After four minutes into the half and neither side finding the basket, the game would be scoreless until Rawls made a fast break on an easy layup to extend the lead to 10. Halfway through the second, the Aggies forced numerous Lobo turnovers and quickly took advantage with 14 points coming from turnovers alone.  

Not only were the turnovers a benefactor but also the bench points after the Aggies posted 24 off the bench. Both freshman Keylon Dorsey and junior Robert Carpenter were instrumental as Dorsey recorded 10 points that included multiple field goals and two three-pointers while Carpenter shot 3-4 at the line and added two field goals to tally his point total to seven. 

By the end of the game, the Aggies wiped the floor with the Lobos as they held them to 14 points in the second half while the Aggies added 41. The Aggies opened up the Pan American Center victoriously by a final score of 84-49. 

After Rawls, the Aggies had a standout performance from senior Brandon Suggs, a key player, who was seen limping on the court after a previous injury that occurred in practice. At the end of the night, Suggs played 14 minutes with combined stats of four points and six rebounds.  

“[Suggs] is a really good player and he can really score the basketball,” Hooten said after the game. “I think he changes our team for sure when he’s in the game, but I think everybody saw tonight, he’s not healthy.” 

Coach Hooten continued and spoke on the effort from Rawls.

“I thought Jordan Rawls picked it up and was fantastic with the ball in his hand tonight,” Hooten said. “He’s a guy that’s pretty dynamic off the ball screens and he can really make plays and get downhill. He has some experience.” 

NMSU will be back at the Pan Am on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. against Western New Mexico University. Game coverage will be on ESPN+ and on Zia Country 99.5-FM.  

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About the Contributors
Joshua Montoya
Joshua Montoya, Sports Writer
Joshua Montoya is entering this semester as a senior. He is from Las Vegas, New Mexico majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a minor in social media management. This semester is his first with The Round Up as one of the sports writers. Josh is passionate about sports and sharing his knowledge of them with audiences. Post graduation, he hopes to bring the skills he learns with The Round Up to write and report on sports leagues such as the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.
David Castañeda
David Castañeda, Multimedia Director
David Castañeda is starting his second year here at The Round Up, this being his first year as Multimedia Director. This is his second year at New Mexico State University and is majoring in Journalism & Media Studies. He was born and raised in El Paso, Texas as an only child but is extremely happy to be able to call Las Cruces his new home. David has had an affinity for photography since he was in elementary school and has only fallen deeper in love with the art through this job. Though David enjoys nothing more than to be behind a camera he loves to try to explore new hobbies and career options. He’s currently focused on improving his photography at The Round Up and working with the Multimedia Specialists to make the Multimedia team the best it can be. When he isn’t taking photos or editing them on Photoshop, David loves to spend his time with his 3-year-long girlfriend in their apartment where they frequently cuddle up in bed to watch some trash TV and films. On his own, he loves to play the bass and listen to music. His favorite artists are The Strokes and Gorillaz.    

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