So much for the run the table talk. I am certainly among those who thought it was possible. I even wrote a column about it. But for the record, I predicted a 14-2 conference record at the outset of the season with both of those losses coming on the road, but I certainly didn't expect one of them to be at Chicago State. Probably the worse game the Aggies have played to date, on both ends of the court. NMSU needs Sim Bhullar back, just park him on the defensive end until he feels ready to return, something I expect him to be able to do next week.
Limit turnovers: This didn't happen. If the Aggies let the other team shoot 3s (which Chicago State did), if the Aggies have a horrible night at the foul line (which they did), and if the Aggies turn the ball over (which they did 19 times leading to 19 CSU points) If two of these things happen, the game will be close. If all three happen, NMSU will lose every time. Kind of concerning was the nature of a lot of the turnovers. There were some lazy cross court passes (once which Pippen scored off of) and the inbounds pass from DK Eldridge to nobody in particular eliminated the Aggies final comeback attempt. Daniel Mullings had to assert himself, which he did for 26 points, but he also turned the ball over 8 times, mostly when he drove and had the ball knocked away from him in traffic. Chili Nephawe had to be a force, and he had a decent game, but he had four turnovers in the post. What's also telling is the fact that Chicago State didn't do too much full court pressure, trapping mostly in the half court.
Attack the interior: Nephawe (12 points) and Mullings (26 points) were able to get to the basket or foul line, but that was about it. NMSU settled for the 3, shooting 23 times and Renaldo Dixon was limited to 15 minutes, going instead with Eldridge and Buovac to match up with Chicago State's quickness. NMSU is a better jump shooting team than ever before, but it's not going to win them many games.
Stay out of foul trouble: Wasn't much of a factor. Nephawe finished the game with four fouls but played 35 minutes. Aronis fouled out of the game in the late stages.