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Poor shooting stymies New Mexico State in loss to Sam Houston, 79-58

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Photo Courtesy: NMSU Athletics

(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Sometimes it’s not your night. Returning to play at the Pan American Center for the first time in nearly three weeks, the Aggies (11-16, 5-7 CUSA) failed to capitalize in front of a crowd of over 10,000, falling 79-58 to Sam Houston (16-11, 9-3 CUSA).

Former Bearkat Kaosi Ezeagu led the Crimson & White with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Christian Cook was the only other double-digit scorer, adding 14 points including a trio of 3-pointers. Sam Houston’s Lamar Wilkerson provided a dynamite first half for Sam Houston, going 7-for-7 from beyond the arc on his way to scoring a game-high 25 points.

In total, the Aggies shot just 39% from the field while Sam Houston connected on 50% of its shots while outscoring the Aggies 21-5 in transition points.


  • Both sides immediately found success as Sam Houston used an offensive board to create a second-chance 3-pointer before NM State executed a play which allowed Femi Odukale to draw a double team on the low block before finding a wide open Kaosi Ezeagu under the rim who finished with a monstrous two-hand slam dunk.
  • After a shot from Christian Cook tied the game at five, the visiting Bearkats rattled off a 9-2 run as they hit to a trio of 3-pointers to start the game four of five from beyond the arc and open up a 14-7 lead with just over six minutes gone.
  • Contrary to their usual ability to shoot the ball well while limiting opponents to a poor percentage inside the Pan American Center, NM State struggled to make shots across the first 10 minutes of play – shooting just 36% from the field. Meanwhile, Sam Houston shot the ball at a 44% rate while using 10 second-chance points to hold an 11-point advantage with just under 10 minutes to play.
  • The Bearkats’ hot shooting was highlighted by a first-half performance from Lamar Wilkerson who connected on all seven of his 3-point attempts in the opening 20 minutes of play – leading to a 23-point first half. Wilkerson final two makes also contributed to a 11-0 run near the end of the first half to leave a packed Pan Am in disbelief. Ultimately, the Aggies stared at a 25-point deficit after one half of play.


  • NM State struck first in the second half as they chipped into deficit with a pair of unanswered 3-pointers from Femi Odukale and Jaden Harris. Moments later, a hook shot from Kaosi Ezeagu brought the score within 20 points for the first time since the 3:11 mark of the first half.
  • The Aggie momentum continued to build as they later received a put-back dunk from Ezeagu prior to watching sharpshooter Christian Cook knock-down a 3-pointer to leave the Aggies down 54-36 with 15:35 remaining.
  • Following Cook’s three, both sides struggled to knock down shots as they combined to piece together a three-minute stretch without a made field goal. This included a missed shot from Lamar Wilkerson who wound up 1-2 from the field to score just two points in the second half after the stellar first.
  • Despite going back-and-forth with the Bearkats in the second half, every Aggie surge was answered by a Sam Houston response and the Bearkat first-half lead proved to be too much to overcome.


  • The loss marks just the second home loss for the Aggies this season – moving their home record to 11-2 on the season.
  • Kaosi Ezeagu reached double-digits in the scoring column for the 11th time this season and the third time in the last five games as he posted 15 points, going 6-of-8 from the field.
  • Christian Cook’s 14 points also signified the 12th double-digit scoring effort for the junior from Oklahoma City.
  • Today’s team total of 58 points marks the lowest scoring total of the season as the Aggies previous low came in a win over UTEP on Jan. 4 when they scored 63 points.
  • Opposing teams entered games average 61.7 points in Pan Am, however, Sam Houston tallied 79 points to mark the high by any Aggie opponent this season.
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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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