EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Playing for the first time since last Saturday's thrilling home win over Jacksonville State, the Aggies headed to the Sun City looking for their first victory away from Las Cruces this season. Keeping pace with I-10 rival UTEP in the first half, a lack of shot making in the second twenty minutes proved costly, as NM State fell 74-49. With the loss, NM State falls to 11-13 overall and 5-4 in Conference USA play.
Jaden Harris led NM State in scoring, finishing with 20 points on the night while going a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. Femi Odukale stuffed the stat sheet, posting six points, three assists, three rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks, while Kaosi Ezeagu pulled down seven rebounds, a team high.
- The quest for a road victory got off to a slow start for the Crimson & White, as the Miners jumped out to a 12-0 lead before a Jaden Harris layup nearly five minutes into the contest finally put the Aggies on the board.
- Harris' bucket would spark life into the Aggies, kickstarting a 7-0 run. UTEP's leading scorer Tae Hardy responded with a pair of 3-pointers to put the Miners ahead 18-7 at the under-12 media timeout.
- With UTEP ahead 13 with less than ten minutes to go in the first half, the Aggie backcourt stepped up as a Jordan Rawlslayup and a pair of triples from Jaden Harris shrank the lead to five – the smallest deficit since Tae Hardy canned a triple twenty seconds into the contest.
- Producing at a high level in the first half, junior guard Jaden Harris sank five free throws down the stretch, closing out the first half with 18 points. The Miners would add a layup right before the buzzer to send the game to break with a 35-27 advantage.
- Matching buckets with their conference rivals to start the second half, a timely 10-0 run by the Miners ballooned their lead to 16 points, their largest to that point, with 11:57 remaining (52-36).
- A four-point burst by the Aggies momentarily stifled the Miner attack, but a 15-4 scoring surge would make it a 67-44 ballgame with 5:28 left to go, effectively put the game out of reach for the visitors.
- NM State would score just five points over the final five minutes of action, ultimately falling by a final score of 74-49.
NUMBERS OF NOTE
- Jaden Harris posted 20 points to lead the Aggies in scoring, recording his second 20+ point performance as a member of the Crimson & White. Harris' 8-for-8 night from the free throw line was also the most free throws made without a miss for NM State this season.
- The Aggies turned the ball over 20 times against the Miners, their most in a road contest – NM State coughed the ball up 21 times in the Aggies' only home loss of the season against in-state rival New Mexico.
- With the loss, the Aggies fall to 0-11 outside the confines of the Pan American Center, where NM State has posted a sparkling 11-1 record this season.
- Jaylin Jackson-Posey returned to action for the Aggies, playing 12 minutes and grabbing three rebounds after missing the past six games with injury.
- Tallying just 49 points on the night, the Aggies posted their lowest point total against a non-Power Five opponent this season – in the season opener, NM State totaled 46 points against then-sixteenth-ranked Kentucky in Rupp Arena.
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