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Aggie basketball reaches 11th consecutive victory

The New Mexico State basketball team earned two wins at home this week to extend its win streak into the double digits. The first was against the Utah Valley Wolverines on Thursday by a score of 84-77. On Saturday, the Aggies squeaked past the Seattle University Red Hawks 59-53.

Trevelin Queen shoots a triple over the hands of a Seattle University defender Saturday, Feb. 16, during a matchup against SU at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces. (Photo by Eli Whitney/Kokopelli)

Thursday’s game started off slowly with both teams struggling to find the bottom of the net. The Aggies held a 6-5 lead heading into the first media timeout after about five minutes of play. Early on, Jojo Zamora had the hot hand from beyond the arc as he drilled back-to-back three-pointers to give New Mexico State a five-point lead with about seven minutes remaining in the first half. Zamora finished the first half with 17 points, hitting five threes. Going into the halftime break, the Aggies were up 39-37.

To start the second half, the Aggies opened up on a 7-0 run to push their lead to nine points. Both teams exchanged buckets afterward until the Wolverines went on a 5-0 run of their own to come within four points of the Aggies. After feeling the opposition gain some momentum, Eli Chuha recorded six straight points followed by a three from Terrelle Brown to cap a 9-0 run and bring the Aggies’ lead to 11. The Aggies were able to find a lot of points inside the paint and finish off the game with the 84-77 win. Chuha finished with a game-high 21 points, 19 of them coming from inside the paint.

After taking care of the Wolverines on Thursday, NMSU welcomed Seattle University to Las Cruces on Saturday as the Aggies looked for their 11th straight win. The Aggies started the game slowly and found themselves down by 12 with about seven minutes left in the first half. Slowly but surely, the Aggies chipped away at the Red Hawks’ lead and went into the halftime break down by seven.

After the break, New Mexico State still couldn’t find its rhythm and the Red Hawks were able to gain an 11-point lead. The Aggies rallied at this point and started to make their comeback. New Mexico State was able to force a steal, which led to a monster jam from Jonny McCants that got the crowd rocking. Zamora followed the jam with a three-ball to get the Aggies within six points about halfway through the second half. With about five minutes to play in the game, the Aggies got their first lead of the second half 50-49, after a huge three from Clayton Henry. After gaining the lead, New Mexico State played great defensively, only allowing one more field goal the rest of the contest. The Aggies were able to sink most of their free-throws during the last few minutes of the game to come away with their 11th consecutive win 59-53.

Up next, the Aggies take a break from WAC opponents as they welcome Texas A&M International on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m.

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