NACOGDOCHES, Texas - In the current WAC standing, New Mexico State has gone from being the hunted to the hunter. Aggies' guard Jabari Rice is perfectly fine with it.
"There's a lot more pressure when you're the hunted than when you're the hunter," said Rice following the Aggies' 762-58 win at Stephen F. Austin Saturday. "Going to get it and take it from somebody else, I'd rather do that than have somebody take it from you."
Pressure was not a problem for the Aggies on Saturday, as they led Stephen F. Austin for 35 of the 40 minutes in a convincing win.
Rice finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Teddy Allen scored 26 points off the bench.
New Mexico State didn't get their first points until a Rice three-pointer at the 16:48 mark, but it proved to be a sign of good things to come for the All-WAC guard.
After being held scoreless in Thursday's loss to Sam Houston State, Rice exploded on Saturday connecting on 7-13 field goals.
Allen meanwhile was held out of the starting lineup for undisclosed reasons, but ended up playing more minutes than anyone else on the team with 36.
The Aggies dominated the glass, outrebounding the Lumberjacks 47-29 on their home floor.
Despite the win, New Mexico State (16-3, 5-1 WAC) sits in third place in the WAC standings behind first place Seattle and Sam Houston. After beating the Aggies on Thursday, Sam Houston knocked off Grand Canyon on Saturday 58-56.
The BearKats win over Grand Canyon makes next Saturday's tilt between the Lopes and Aggies at the Pan Am Center that much more important in the conference race.