The Aggies escaped with a 67-63 victory over Northern Colorado on Wednesday. The Bears took a 3 for the win before Daniel Mullings sealed the deal with a three point play. Perhaps the Aggies aren't sweating if they shoot better than 1-11 from 3 point range and 14-25 at the foul line. But the Aggies won their 13th straight game at home and move on to UTEP at 4-1
Before I look back at the three keys for the UNC game, how good has Mullings been on the offensive end the past three games. Mullings has posted 20 points for three straight games for the first time in his career. He's averaged 22.3 points per game for wins over Hawaii, UTEP and Northern Colorado. He's shooting 52 percent on the season, but he's 61 percent the past three games. It's somewhat impressive since teams obviously know about him now. He only reached 20 points twice in the Aggies last 13 games last season.
3-point defense: The Aggies didn't allow a lot of easy looks from 3-point range. UNC was 38 percent from the field, shooting 6-18 (33 percent) from 3-point range, 3-9 in each half. Tate Unruh was 0-4 from 3-point range after entering 40 percent from long range entering the game.
"I thought we did a great job defending the 3," Marvin Menzies said. "It might have been our best defensive half of the season. They shot 33 percent in the second half. And we didn't foul."
Rebounding: I don't think the Aggies did well here. NMSU outrebounded UNC 40-38. The Bears shot a lot of jump shots, leading to 13 offensive rebounds, which resulted in 21 second chance points.
Interior: NMSU went to the paint early and often against a smaller team. Sim Bhullar was 4-4 from the floor in the first half but he didn't have another shot. Chili Nephawe was 1-6, Remi Barry was 3-4 and Renaldo Dixon was 4-6 as the Aggies shot 48 percent from the floor and scored 36 points in the paint.
"We had a lot of little bunnies that we missed that we have to make at home," Menzies said. "I think the free throws hurt us. We missed 11 and a lot of those were front ends. We probably left 10 points right at the basket in the first half."