(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - There’s no place like home. After spending Feast Week in Mexico at the Cancun Challenge and a true road contest against ACC squad Louisville, NM State returned to the Pan American Center for a home match with the University of the Southwest.
The Aggies commanded the action from the start, opening the game with a 20-2 run and never looking back en route to a 84-49 home win.
Kaosi Ezeagu led NM State in scoring (13), with Clarence “Monzy” Jackson and Jaylin Jackson-Posey joining him in double-figures.
As a team, the Aggies shot a blistering 55% from three-point range (11-20), and 59% from the field while also dominating bench points (36-16) and points in the paint (34-14).
After securing the opening tip, Jordan Rawls drained a triple from the right wing to kickstart a quick 7-0 NM State run.
The Mustangs put themselves on the board at the 17:18 mark, but the Crimson & White responded soundly, going on a 13-0 run powered by six points from Kaosi Ezeagu.
Over the next six minutes of action, the two teams combined for six triples, with junior guard Jaden Harris connecting on a pair as part of his eight first-half points.
Robert Carpenter joined in on the action, extending the NM State lead to 23 with 7:24 left in the opening stanza.
A Christian Cook jumper with 2:09 remaining gave the Aggies their largest lead of the first half (44-18) as part of a 6-0 run with buckets by Robert Carpenter and Femi Odukale, returning to action after missing last Sunday’s game against Louisville.
Christian Cook drained his first three-point attempt of the night to open the scoring in the second half, extending the NM State lead to 27 points with 18:14 left to play.
USW guard Anthony Scott connected on the first Mustangs triple of the second half.
Following a brief run from the Mustangs, a triple from Clarence “Monzy” Jackson kickstarted a 10-2 run for the Crimson & White.
The run also concluded with a trio of free throws from Yaak Yaak who recorded his first minutes in the second half. Jackson’s three also served as the first of 10 second half points for the senior from Dublin, Ga.
Later, Jaylin Jackson-Posey served as a catalyst to an 8-2 run by the Aggies to help extend their lead to 34 points.
The Aggies would eventually push their advantage to a game-high 38 points with 3:03 remaining on the clock before USW drained three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to cut into the deficit.
However, freshman Keylon Dorsey then scored the game’s final points as he connected on his second three-pointer of the evening to give the Aggies a 35-point victory.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
- Clarence “Monzy” Jackson tallies 13 points in 22 minutes, tying a season-high set against Sul Ross State. Pouring in three triples on just four attempts, he finished with the highest three-point percentage
- Kaosi Ezeagu recorded his first double-double as a member of NM State, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds. This is also Ezeagu’s third consecutive game with ten or more points, putting in 11 against Southern Illinois and a career-high 17 points against Louisville.
- Draining 11 triples on just 20 attempts, the Aggies secured their best three-point shooting percentage of the season.
- The Aggies tied their season high in points with 84, matching their totals against Louisville (11/26) and Sul Ross State (11/8).