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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 men’s basketball gets dominated by UTEP

David Castañeda
Forward Kaosi Ezeagu screams in frustration after the Miners steal the ball. Feb. 10, 2024.

The New Mexico State University Aggies men’s basketball team hit the road to face the University of Texas El Paso Miners for their second bout of the Battle of I-10. The Aggies were unable to secure a sweep in the rivalry, losing 74-49. This continues their trend of being winless on the road, as they are now 0-10 when not playing at home and 11-12 overall. The Aggies offensive struggles and high number of turnovers were the largest factor in their loss, as they put up the second least number of points than any other game this season.  

The starting lineup was forward Kaosi Ezeagu, and at guard Jordan Rawls, Christian Cook, Femi Odukale, and Jaden Harris.  

The first half had the Aggies on the backfoot from the start, being unable to score at the beginning of the game to being down 12-0 after the first five minutes.

Guard Femi Odukale plummets to the group in an attempt to score against the UTEP Miners. Feb. 10, 2024. (David Castañeda)

The Aggies then proceeded to go on an unanswered 7-0 scoring run after a basket from Harris but were unable to continue their momentum forward. Despite a layup from Rawls and a pair of three-pointers from Harris, the Aggies trailed for the rest of the half and remained unable to take the lead entering halftime down 35-27.  

The Aggies had low shooting percentages as whole going into half time, with a lackluster 39.1% from the field and a poor 18.2% from the arc. The team remained consistent as usual from the free throw line shooting 70%. The Aggies were able to rack up a solid 17 rebounds total but posted a high turnover percentage of 38.9%.  

The second half saw the Aggies return to the court with a strong offensive effort, outscoring the Miners 9-5 in the first five minutes and even shortening the lead gap to 42-36. The Aggies petered out after this though and would go on to only score eight points over the next seven minutes. They allowed the Miners 12 more unanswered points with 5:28 left and finished the game with a 74-49 loss. 

Guard Femi Odukale looks to get through the UTEP Miners. Feb. 10, 2024. (David Castañeda)

The Aggies offensive stats looked no better in the second half, with all their shooting percentages decreasing to finish the night 34.6% from the field, 10.5% from three and 68.8 from the free throw. The team totaled 33 rebounds overall and turned the ball over on 28.6% of their total possessions.  

Harris led the team in scoring with a hefty 20 points, followed by guard Tanahj Pettway’s nine points. Ezeagu had the most total rebounds at seven, then Harris and guard Keylon Dorsey both had four.  

The Aggies will have another chance to break their away-game losing streak when they travel to play the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and aired on Zia Country 99.5 FM. 

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About the Contributors
Kaden Martinez
Kaden Martinez, Staff Writer
Kaden Martinez is entering his first year at The Round Up as both a staff and a sports writing intern. This is his first time writing for a local publication (or any publication for that matter!). He is also entering his first year as a freshman majoring in Cybersecurity with a minor in Computer Engineering. Since his dad is in the military, he has moved all around New Mexico, having lived in Albuquerque, Springer, Maxwell, and finally Rio Rancho where he graduated. He is the oldest of three siblings. Kaden has always enjoyed writing, whether it was school related or as a hobby. He decided to become a member of The Round Up both to broaden his horizons and step out of his comfort zone by trying something new. Some of his interests include exercising, playing sports, video games, TV shows, and movies.
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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