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Slow start plagues NMSU in 81-54 loss to Southern Illinois

Photo Courtesy: NMSU Athletics

(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)

CANCUN, Mexico - After a hard-fought overtime game the day before, the Aggies looked to come out with a win against Southern Illinois to continue building on the momentum from its previous two home victory's to put them over .500 for the first time this season.

Unfortunately, this was not the case as the Aggies had a rough night shooting from the field and stopping the three-point barrage from the Salukis tonight.

Femi Odukale led the Aggies in points (18), rebounds (8) and assists (5) tonight attempting to put the team on his back. 

Robert Carpenter was the second highest scorer of the night with 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the glass.

The Aggies had their season low in three point percentage (0%) while the Salukis went 8-16 from behind the arc that helped them continue to keep pressure on NM State.

The Aggies also had shot 15% from the field which is their lowest half field goal percentage this season.


  • After both sides struggled to find their rhythm offensively to begin the game, the Salukis quickly built up a 5-0 lead following a made three pointer in front of the Aggie bench. SIU big man Troy D'Amico earned a technical foul for taunting, earning Christian Cook a trip to the line with a chance for NM State's first points of the night.
  • After putting up 12 points in 39 minutes last night against Fresno State, senior guard Femi Odukale put in the second NM State basket of the game, driving to the rim and collecting a layup with just 10:43 to go in the first half (13-9). From here the Salukis went on a 18-2 run to end the half with Xaiver Johnson and Jovan Stulic both contributing six points towards the total.
  • While the Aggies had difficulty finding the bottom of the net from the field - shooting just 15% (3-20) - their aggression at the rim earned them 13 free throws through the first half, making them at a 100% on the night.


  • In the second half the finally started to show some life and put the ball in the basket. After the first five minutes of the quarter the Aggies managed to only get the Salukis lead down to 21 points. This was after Odukale, Ezeagu and Harris all scored two-point field goals with a few free throws mixed in.
  • After the next eight minutes, it was more back and forth as the Aggies started to actual get things a bit but Southern Illinois continued to answer back and not let NM State creep back into the game with the lead fluctuating between 26 and 22 points in that time span.
  • Within the last eight minutes of the game Femi Odukale attempted to put the team on his back and continued to get to the foul line with his aggressive attacks to the rim. After only scoring two points in the first half, Femi finished with 16 points in the second half forcing 10 free throw attempts.


  • Free throw disparity in favor of the Aggies getting 29 attempts from the line tonight compared to the Salukis 26 attempts.
  • The Salukis made their presence felt from deep going 50% from the three point line while forcing the Aggies to not make a single three pointer the whole night. The Aggies went 0-9 from beyond the arc as luck was not on their side.
  • Femi Odukale made his presence known as he led the Aggies in points (18), rebounds (7) and assists (5) tonight. With almost 90% of his points coming from the second half
  • Robert Carpenter finished in double digits for the last three games with 10 against Norhern Colorado, 20 against Fresno State and 13 tonight against Southern Illinois. He was the second highest scorer tonight for the Aggies.
  • The Aggies had their worst shooting night of the season shooting 31% percent tonight and only 15% from the field in the first half as they struggled to make shots.
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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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