EL PASO, Texas - Though Chris Jans may not know the exact remedy, New Mexico State basketball sure knows how to avoid a hangover.
For the third week in a row, the Aggies rebounded from a Friday loss to top Utah Valley 67-60 at Eastwood High School Saturday night in El Paso.
Utah Valley both shot and rebounded at a higher percentage Saturday night, but the Aggies executed at the critical times to split the weekend series with the Wolverines.
After a 69-66 loss to Utah Valley on Friday night, New Mexico State was able to close the Wolverines in the matinee behind strong free throw shooting and defensive stops.
The game was tied at 60 with one minute to play, but Donnie Tillman drew a foul and converted both free throws to take a 62-60 lead.
Tillman made the decisive play on the ensuing defensive possession, picking Jaden McClanahan from behind for a steal.
The Aggie converted free throws the rest of the way for the victory.
Jabari Rice led all scorers with 20 points, and Evan Gilyard chipped in 16.
Jamison Overton was Utah Valley's lone double-digit scorer with 16.
The Aggies avoided a sweep when they couldn't afford to fall further in the WAC standings, and brought their overall record back to .500 (6-6, 3-5 WAC).
Sitting in sixth place with four games to play, New Mexico State hits the road for two series against conference newcomers Tarleton State and Dixie State. Both Tarleton State and Dixie State are below .500.