The New Mexico State men’s basketball team extended its win streak to 12 on Thursday.
NMSU beat San Jose State 67-57 in San Jose, Calif., to improve to 18-8 and 12-2 in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Aggies were dominant offensively, shooting 43 percent, they led by as many as 24 and blew the game open with a 25-0 run, but the Aggies entered the NMSU record books for blocked shots.
“We were really good for stretches,” Aggies coach Marvin Menzies said. “As a coach you just want to win the game and then you want perfection. We got the win but we didn’t get the perfection.”
NMSU’s 10 blocked shots gave the Aggies 141 blocks this season, matching the 1994-95 team for the most in a season. Aggies freshman center Sim Bhullar became the school’s most prolific freshman shot blocker with four blocks on Thursday, to go with 10 points and five rebounds.
“Adding a 7-foot-5 player to the roster, we knew that number would go up,” Menzies said. “I didn’t think we could get it with this many games left.”
Bhullar passed James Moore’s record 51 blocks for the freshman record and is tied with Moore for the most blocks in a single season with 55 rejections (2003-04). Bhullar needs just four blocks to pass Roland Grant’s 58 blocked shots in 1973-74 for the most in a season.
“Sim will probably end up with the single season record,” Menzies said. “Individual accolades are part of winning. We were able to achieve something that hadn’t been done before.
Daniel Mullings led the Aggies with 15 points and Bandja Sy scored 13 points. Renaldo Dixon posted his first career double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds as NMSU out rebounded San Jose State 42-24.
NMSU outscored San Jose State 25-0 to blow the game open. The Aggies scored the last 15 points of the first half for a 38-25 lead at halftime.
The Aggies trailed by five in the first half as an Alex Brown dunk gave San Jose State a 21-15 lead with 8:28 left as the Spartans scored 18 points in the paint in the first half. But San Jose State’s offense slowed down while the Aggies got rolling.
The Aggies scored the first 10 points of the second half and never looked back. The Aggies should set the school record for blocked shots in an attempt to win their 13th straight at Utah State on Saturday.
“I think we were looking ahead a little to the second game,” Menzies said. “There were periods in the second half where we played really good.”