New Mexico State never threatened Texas-Arlington in a 68-47 loss at Arlington on Saturday in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
The Aggies scored a season-low 47 points to fall to 6-7 overall entering Monday’s WAC game at Louisiana Tech.
“We didn’t give them any indication of who the WAC champions were when we walked in tonight,” said Aggies coach Marvin Menzies in his postgame radio comments.
NMSU trailed 37-24 after a sluggish first half on the road and never threatened in the second half.
“The bell went off for the first conference game and we laid an egg on the road,” Menzies said. “I was emotionally embarrassed by our play tonight.”
The Aggies trailed by as many as 15 in the first half as Arlington made 5-of-10 from 3-point range while NMSU was 32 percent from the floor and 4-for-11 from the foul line in the first half. Terrel de Rouen knocked down one of the Aggies two 3-point makes to close NMSU to within nine with two minutes left in the half, but it was as close as NMSU would get as the Aggies finished the first half 2-for-11 from 3-point range.
The Aggies finished 33 percent from the floor, 47.8 percent (11-for-23) from the foul line while Arlington shot 44 percent and scored 12 points off 15 NMSU turnovers.
“It doesn’t matter what we do defensively if we don’t play offensively the way we are supposed to,” Menzies said.
The Aggies trailed 54-32 on a Karol Gruszecki 3-pointer with 10:33 to play.
NMSU closed to within 13 on a Daniel Mullings lay up with 3:20 left as Mullings led the Aggies with 21 points. Sim Bhullar had 14 points, six rebounds and five blocks in 25 minutes.
“They just kicked our butts from tipoff to the buzzer,” Menzies said. “They outrebounded us by seven, we weren’t blocking them out. We knew how well they rebounded offensively. ... I’m upset because of the lackluster effort of not answering the call.”