Sy, Watson and Mullings were the three projected players the Aggies were counting on entering the season. Watson and Sy struggled offensively and we all know what Mullings went through with the broken jaw. I would say all three were the biggest factor I took from the road sweep, allowing guys like Sim Bhullar and KC Ross Miller to go along for the ride.
NMSU wins its fourth straight WAC game with three big ones at home coming up against Utah State, San Jose and Denver.
Daniel Mullings hit the second free throw with 2.7 seconds left to lift the New Mexico State’s men’s basketball team to a 71-70 victory at Idaho on Saturday.
The Aggies swept the weekend Western Athletic Conference road trip with wins at Seattle and Idaho to improve to 10-8 overall and 4-2 in conference play.
“Before the road trip, we thought it would be great to get a sweep but we had to get a split,” Aggies coach Marvin Menzies said. “Just being a realist with the way we have been playing.”
NMSU only trailed after a three-point play on Idaho’s first possession. The Aggies led by 15 at halftime but Idaho (6-9, 2-3) tied the game at 68-68 on a Stephen Madison 3-pointer with 40 seconds to play.
Days after hitting a clutch triple to send Thursday’s game at Seattle into overtime, Sy responded with a jumper inside to put the Aggies back on top with 11 seconds left.
“He was shooting really effective around the basket tonight,” Menzies said. “I thought he was hot. He’s a senior and he was good at Seattle. We went back to the well and the well produced.”
Idaho center Kyle Barone hit a pair of free throws with 3.5 seconds left to tie the game at 70-70, but Idaho’s Marcus Bell fouled Mullings 80 feet from the basket.
Mullings missed the first free throw but drained the second for his eighth point of the game. Sim Bhullar and K.C. Ross-Miller led the Aggies with 16 points and Sy finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Ross-Miller had a career scoring night, scoring nine points in the first half.
It was all NMSU in the first half.
“K.C. played a fantastic game tonight,” Menzies said. “Not just scoring, but he didn’t have any turnovers the entire night. He made several passes that led to assists.”
The Aggies started 8-for-10 from the field and scored on 11 of their first 13 possessions, taking a 23-9 lead on a Terrel de Rouen 3-pointer. NMSU finished the first half shooting 50 percent from the floor.
The Aggies return to Las Cruces for three straight home games, beginning Thursday against Utah State.
“They are a force in the conference,” Menzies said. “They have been. I’m glad we get them at home for the first time out.”
I am happy the Aggies won, and won on the road where they have had issues this year.
While these two road wins are good, the fact that they ended up being one point games against teams where the Aggies should have been big favorites does not bode well for NMSU when the toughest teams in conference are still in front of them.
I was happy to see that turnovers were limited and free throw shooting was respectable. Had either of those gone the other way, we would have seen a road split this weekend.
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