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Aggies outlast Jax State to break road losing streak

JACKSONVILLE, Alabama (KVIA) -- After a rocky month of February, the Aggies looked upon their last road game of the season as a chance to start the month of March on a good note. NM State (12-18, 6-9 CUSA) weathered the second-half surge of Jax State (14-16, 6-9 CUSA) to secure its first road victory of the season 66-64.

Femi Odukale made a valent effort for the Aggies, putting up 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists.  He also went 7-10 from the free throw line on the night. Christian Cook and Jaylin Jackson-Posey also added 15 points each in the contest. Kaosi Ezeagu finished the night with his second double-double of the season and led the Aggies on the boards with 10 points and 12 rebounds. 

First Half 

  • Coming out of the gate, the Gamecocks would get on the board quickly in their first possession with a post layup from Matt Mayers on the left side of the rim. Over the next few possessions, there would be a scoring drought for both teams until Kaosi Ezeagu made a statement with a two-handed jam with 17:50 left on the clock.
  • Over the next five minutes of action, the Aggies would orchestrate a 12-5 run that would feature points from five different players and make the score 14-7 with 12:04 left in the first half. 
  • After a constant battle of baskets from each squad, back-to-back finishes from the Aggies Femi Odukale and Ezeagu would give the Aggies a 22-13 lead with 6:22 on the clock. On the Gamecocks next offensive possession, Tyre Patterson would make a mid-range jump shot to give the Gamecocks a spark and start an 8-3 run to cut the score to 25-21.
  • To end the half, a layup from Jaylin Jackson-Posey would help push the score to 27-23. After a Ezeagu block on the other end, Posey got another shot opportunity on the fast break and was fouled then managed to knock in both from the charity stripe to put them up 29-23 going into halftime.

Second Half 

  • To start the second, Christian Cook and Jackson-Posey would come out on a mission, both sinking back-to-back shots from beyond the arc. After a tough contested mid-range basket from Ivan Reynolds for the Gamecocks, Conference USA's leading scorer KyKy Tandy responded with a shot of his own from beyond the arc making the score 35-28 with 17:04 left.
  • This would awaken Cook as he would heat up from the field and score 12 straight for the Aggies over the next three and a half minutes, with nine of those points coming from three consecutive shots from behind the arc. From there, Jax State would find some footing once again and start a 14-5 run leading into the last seven minutes of the game. 
  • Coming out of the media break with 6:56 left, Femi Odukale would break the scoring slump for the Aggies with a turnaround mid-range jumper to make the score 54-49. After a post-move score from Juwan Perdue, Jordan Rawls made a tough layup from the right block to put them back up 56-51.
  • After being down 63-53 with 3:23 left in the second, the Gamecocks dismantled the Aggie lead and evened up the score with a Tandy three-pointer with 1:13 left on the clock. Despite momentum from the crowd being in their favor, clutch free throws from Odukale and Ezeagu would be enough to get the Aggies over the hump and leave Jacksonville with the win 66-64.

NUMBERS OF NOTE

  • Kaosi Ezeagu finished the night with his second double-double of the season, recorded his career-high in rebounds with 12 on the night and matched his career-high in blocks with three. 
  • As a team, the Aggies recorded seven blocks on the night. This is their second-highest total of the season only behind its contest versus Northern New Mexico, and their highest number of blocks in a game against a conference opponent. 
  • Jaylin Jackson-Posey recorded his highest scoring game (15) since coming back from injury for the Aggies. The last time he scored double digits before his injury was against California Baptist were put up 11 points in the home win. 
  • Christian Cook recorded his third game of the season recording four or more three-point field goals in a game. The previous two came against Northern Colorado (5) and LA Tech (4)
  • This victory helped the Aggies snap a six-game losing streak and a 13-road game losing streak in its last road game of the season.
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Bea Martinez

NMSU Athletics

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