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Aggies fall to first-place Bulldogs at home

NMSU Athletics

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- Sometimes you can give it everything you have and still fall short. The Aggies (11-17, 5-8 CUSA) came back to the Pan American Center for the second time in a three-day span where, despite a valiant effort, the Aggies couldn't overcome a physical LA Tech (17-11, 10-3 CUSA) squad, falling 67-58.

After a slow start, the Aggies went back-and-forth with the Bulldogs who entered the game as the team atop the CUSA standings. NM State were ultimately led in the scoring column by Christian Cook and Jordan Rawls who each notched 16 points. Meanwhile, Femi Odukale was the only other Aggie to score double figures as he posted 10 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists.

As a unit, the Aggies finished the game 19-49 (39%) from the field and were outscored 30-14 in the paint. However, the Aggie bench did provide a spark – posting 21 points while the Bulldog bench managed only six points.


  • Both teams went through a bit of a feeling out period to start the game as the two sides started the game a combined 2-10 from the field, leading to LA Tech holding a 3-2 advantage at the first media timeout. This dry spell would continue as the two teams playing their second game in three days ultimately began the game 3-18 to open things up.
  • After Jason Hooten sent out a new starting five for the first time since Jan. 25, the first-year Aggie bench boss went with the hockey-like line change as he sent out an entirely new group at the 14-minute mark in hopes of a spark.
  • Unfortunately for the Aggies, that spark was nonexistent until Femi Oduakale found a wide open Kaosi Ezeagu who slammed home a two-handed dunk to pull the Aggies within six near the midway mark of the first half.
  • Later, the Aggie offense began running through Christian Cook who knocked down a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers to help the Aggies stay within striking distance. Jordan Rawls then provided some offense of his own as he scored the next eight Aggie points and ultimately help NM State tie the game with one minute remaining – erasing a lead which had grown to as large as nine points. The two sides traded free throws to enter the break all square at 26 points apiece.
  • Despite the Aggies posting their second-lowest first half scoring total in league play, NM State was able to limit the Bulldogs to 34.8% from the field and their third-lowest first half total of the season.


  • The pace was much more furious to start the second half as LA Tech scored five points in the first 38 seconds of play. The Aggies responded in the form of an 8-0 burst thanks to a Kaosi Ezeagu dunk and a pair of 3-pointers from Jaylin Jackson-Posey and Femi Odukale to give NM State their first lead of the contest (34-31).
  • Later, the Aggies would respond to a 5-0 Bulldog run with an eight-point scoring run of their own as a pair of Cook threes was split by a Rawls mid-range jump shot, giving NM State its largest lead of the game at seven with 12:25 left to play.
  • The Aggie lead quickly dissipated as Preseason CUSA Player of the Year Isaiah Crawford fueled an 11-2 LA Tech run that placed the visitors back in front with just under nine minutes on the clock.
  • The Bulldogs' ability to execute reached another level down the stretch as they scored on five straight possessions beginning at the 5:54 mark to take a healthy seven-point lead with less than 120 seconds remaining. During this stretch, the Aggies would score just four points as they watched the opportunity at a win slip away.


  • With the loss, NM State moves to 11-3 inside the Pan American Center as they fall in consecutive games at home for the first time this season.
  • Following a dry spell, Christian Cook has now scored in double figures in back-to-back games after posting 16 points tonight.
  • Jordan Rawls also notched 16 points in the loss to mark his 11th double-digit scoring effort of the season and first since Feb. 15 at Middle Tennessee.
  • LA Tech's Daniel Batcho recorded 16 rebounds which marks the highest total by an individual against the Aggies this season. This also contributed to the Bulldogs tallying 49 rebounds which also marks the most by any opponent this year.
  • The Aggie defense did hold the Bulldogs to just five made 3-pointers – marking their second-lowest total of the season.
  • The Aggies had one of their lowest free throw percentages of the year going 54% from the line only making 12-22 attempts. 
  • In the Aggies' last five matchups, they are averaging 60.2 points per game which is eight points lower than their season average.   

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Bea Martinez

NMSU Athletics


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