The result was the biggest collapse I can remember since a 75-72 loss at home against North Texas in Marvin Menzies' first year. I could be wrong. NMSU led that game by 18 at halftime and by 21 with 14 minutes left.
Here is the box score from Sunday and following is the game recap.
New Mexico State led Niagara by as many as 22 and by 16 at halftime but the Aggies lost 86-83 on Sunday in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
The Aggies led by as many as 22 points in the first half, by 16 at halftime and by 11 with 8:31 to play. But a missed Bandja Sy 3-pointer as time expired couldn’t stop a second-half collapse that dropped the Aggies to 1-3 on the season.
Turnovers plagued the Aggies, who finished with 24 turnovers on Sunday.
“We had 15 turnovers in the first half but it didn’t hurt us because they had 15 in the first half,” Aggies coach Marvin Menzies said. “They didn’t have any in the second half and we had nine. That’s composure. Our goal is for 12 or fewer in a game and we had enough for two games.”
Niagara outscored NMSU 54-35 in the second half. NU outscored the Aggies 22-10 in the last eight minutes.
Trailing 84-78, NMSU senior Tyrone Watson hit a 3-pointer to close to within three with 2:05 left. Watson fed Tshilidzi Nephawe the next time down to make it 84-83 and then blocked a shot on Niagara’s next possession to give the Aggies the ball with 28 seconds left to play.
Menzies took two timeouts, and the Aggies got a good look, with sophomore guard Daniel Mullings missing at the rim.
“We had a guy in the corner if (Mullings) felt congested,” Menzies said. “He got right to the rim. He makes those 80 percent of the time. He’s really hurting right now but he will bounce back.”
After a pair of free throws from Niagara’s Antoine Mason with nine seconds left, the Aggies pushed the ball and got Sy an open look that didn’t drop.
“It hurts to lose but I was happy with the way we bounced back after a poor shooting performance (in Saturday’s loss to Bucknell),” Menzies said. “I was looking to see if we would bounce back. We just didn’t defend the 3 and the ball screen and that was our demise.”
NMSU shot 53 percent from the field for the game and 6-for-15 (40 percent) from 3-point range and 21-for-27 (78 percent) from the foul line. NMSU was 9-for-23 (39 percent) in the second half while Niagara went 18-for-32 (56 percent) in the second half to finish the game at 50 percent.
Nine turnovers in the second half and Niagara’s ease at getting quality shots got NU back into the game while NMSU’s offense went stagnant.
“We tried to get the ball inside but their bigs did a great job and they played tough,” Menzies said. “They bothered our big guys. We had eight turnovers just from our center spot.”
NMSU outscored Niagara 40-34 in the paint and NU scored 28 points off NMSU turnovers. NU made just four 3s in the second half.
“We knew they could shoot the 3, and we knew that was the only way they could get back into it,” Menzies said. “But it was more their pick and roll. We didn’t defend it well.”
The Aggies took a 48-32 lead into halftime on a 40-foot Mullings 3-pointer at the horn. Mullings finished with 26 points, going 9-for-14 from the field, 2-for-3 from 3-point range and 6-for-6 at the foul line. Nephawe had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Sy had 10 points.
The Aggies shot 63 percent in the first half while holding Niagara to 3-of-11 3-point shooting in the first half and outrebounding NU 18-11.
The Aggies took control of the game with a 16-4 run sparked by Terrel de Rouen 3-pointer. In his first appearance since the Aggies’ opener at Oregon State, de Rouen scored five of his nine points in the first half as he played 22 minutes before leaving the game with an ankle injury.
“He played really well and we were able to get him back on the floor tonight and we rode him really,” Menzies said. “Maybe too long because he had a couple turnovers but so did KC (Ross-Miller). We couldn’t get those guys in sync.”
If the Aggies cant beat a team of this proportion, then forget about going beyond the NCAA tourney. Its that simple. I smell more of the same.....year over year....am I wrong? Hope so.
Wake up, Aggs. Getting a chance to play teams like this is not easy, take advantage of the high rollers now because you wont see teams like this until the end of the season.
Pathetic! They can't score as a team. Seems like only one player stands up while the rest just go through the motions. Turnovers, poor FT and very poor shooting percentage are issues that should be worked out by now. This is what separates NMSU from the good teams. It's not first game jitters or early season nerves. It's poor leadership and the team not being prepared. Menzies seems to have plenty of excuses, but no answers.
Look folks, we all expect NMSU to win the weak WAC, but our RPI and strength of schedule are whats going to determine seeding IF we make it to the post season. You can say that we've only played 3 games, but these early games are whats going to define our season and the support or lack there of from fans. UNM and UTEP are both playing strong. Losing our rivalry games is just what this team and athletic dept can't afford now.
If the lost lead is anything like what happened in Hawaii a few years ago, then it has more to do with in-game adjustments by the coach. The team had a big lead running up and down the floor, playing with abandon. Hawaii got a 3 and a steal and easy bucket, butting the lead just a bit.
Instead of calling time out, and making his team be more deliberate in their offensive approach, the coach let them fly around while Hawaii chipped away. In less than a half, Hawaii had made up most of the difference, and momentum was on their side.
Gotta' make those ingame adjustments...
The one necessary adjustment is to fire Marvin Menzies. He's a roll the ball out coach who cannot or will not make in game adjustments. Also, there is absolutely no semblance of an offense. These guys just stand around and wait for someone else to do something. Menzies is always talking about the offense that he installed. Where the hell is it Marv? No structure at all. Marvin couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag and it shows.
no no no i dont want to hear it you were all for menzie when you thought he was going away. Your stuck with that loser enjoy all of you. Watch when he loses to unm and utep he will say they dont matter it conference that count.
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