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NM State takes 85-54 win over Northern New Mexico

RIO RANCHO, N.M. – The New Mexico State Aggies saw every player get on the scoreboard as they never trailed in beating Northern New Mexico 85-54 in a non-conference game Monday night at the Santa Ana Star Center.

The Aggies (17-8) extended their winning streak to eight games with the victory, while the Eagles (13-13) had a three-game win streak ended.

“I was really excited to get the opportunity to come up north to play in front of Aggie fans,” said NM State head coach Marvin Menzies. “We really do appreciate it. It was fun and definitely a positive.”

The Aggies jumped out to a double-digit lead early and never looked back, limiting most of the starting lineup to a half of action or less.

Sophomore center Tanveer Bhullar made the most of his playing time, leading the Aggies with 14 points, with six rebounds and a blocked shot.

Sophomore starter Johnathon Wilkins posted 12 points with four boards and a block, while reserve sophomore Braxton Huggins collected 11 points with three assists.

“This was a great opportunity to play guys who don’t get a lot of reps with a crowd and refs,” said Menzies. “It’s a good deal.”

In playing only 17 minutes, sophomore Pascal Siakam scored just eight points with six rebounds, marking only the fifth time this season that the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year and Lou Henson Award candidate did not add to his NCAA leading total of 21 double-doubles. However Siakam did have two blocked shots and a strong dunk to thrill the 2,306 in attendance for the game in the Albuquerque metro area.

Northern New Mexico ended its regular season with the loss. The Eagles start play in the Association of Independent Institution’s Championship Tournament beginning on Feb. 26.

The Eagles got 12 points from Marcus Ellis, while Patrick Bendegue added 11 points with six rebounds.

The Aggies are off until Saturday afternoon when they visit Chicago State in Western Athletic Conference action. NM State is 8-1 and leads the WAC by a game over Grand Canyon and CSU Bakersfield. Tipoff on Saturday is set for Noon Mountain time.

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