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NMSU rolls Utah Valley 98-74

Sophomore Pascal Siakam scored 27 points with 11 rebounds in leading the New Mexico State Aggies to a 98-74 Western Athletic Conference victory over Utah Valley Saturday night at the Pan American Center.

The 6-9 forward from Douala, Cameroon, one of the 10 players up for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, collected his NCAA leading 21st double-double of the season.

The Aggies (16-8, 8-1) never trailed in the game as they extended their win streak to seven straight. The Wolverines (10-14, 4-5) lost for the third time in four games.

NM State opened the game with an 11-0 run, but never let the lead dip under double-digits again after the first seven minutes. The Aggies held a 20-plus point lead for the last 26 minutes of the game.

“The offense was really clicking tonight,” said NM State head coach Marvin Menzies. “We got our and really ran and had a high, high pace tonight. We really pushed the tempo and embraced that. Overall we had a great effort tonight against a solid team.”

For the second straight game, the Aggies shot 54 percent or better, as NM State hit 36-of-65 from the floor for 55.4 percent. Utah Valley connected on 42.4 percent from the field, while the Aggies dominated the boards 41-31.

But the biggest statistic was the turnover. NM State had a season-low five, with only one in the first half. UVU turned it over 11 times.

In addition to his 27 points, Siakam also led the team with four assists and two blocked shots.

Sophomore Jalyn Pennie scored 16 points going 7-of-9 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from the 3-point arc, while grabbing seven rebounds. Junior Ian Baker added 12 points with three assists.

All 12 Aggies who dresed scored in the game as NM State posted its highest score of the season. The Aggies 98 points were also the most since Feb. 23, 2012 when NM State throttled Hawai’i 115-73.

Utah Valley got 21 points from Marcel Davis with seven assists. Konner Frey added 12 points and Hayden Schenk seven rebounds.

NM State has a fast turnaround as they host a neutral site game with Northern New Mexico on Monday night at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. It’s the first time the Aggies will host a game in the Albuquerque metro area. The game tips at 7 p.m.

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