Second Half Surge Lifts Aggies Over UT-Arlington

Las Cruces native Kelsey Crooks paved the way for New Mexico State with 18 points in the Aggies' 72-62 victory over the University of Texas-Arlington. With the win, the Aggies are now 10-0 all-time against the Mavericks, and head coach Lou Henson extended his lead in the series to 9-0.

The Aggies are now 2-0 on the season while Texas-Arlington fell to 0-2 on the year.

Also scoring in double figures for the Aggies was Allen Haynes with 16, James Moore with 12, Gary Jackson with 11, and Detrius Roberson dropping in 10. Despite fouling out with :57 seconds left in the game, Crooks also finished the night with eight rebounds, five assists and three steals as the Aggies compiled a shooting percentage of 50 percent on the night.

The Mavericks were led by Derrick Obasohan with 18 points, while Steven Thomas, Roy Johnson, and Brady Dawkins had 12 points each. The Mavericks shot a total of 54 percent from the field and 80 percent from behind the 3-point arc with all four of their three-pointers coming in the second half.

The Mavericks were the first to respond in the second half when Brady Dawkins hit his first three-point attempt of the night to give UTA a 27-26 lead with 19:10 left in the game, but a follow-up slam dunk by James Moore put the Aggies back on top by one.

UT-Arlington quickly jumped back into the lead on another three-pointer by Dawkins to go up 36-35, but a blocked shot by Moore and Crooks' second three-pointer of the half gave the Aggies a 38-36 advantage with 13:45 to go in the game.

Detrius Roberson then hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Aggies their largest lead of the half at 44-39 with 12:06 remaining in the game. Roberson would then knock down his eighth point of the half to put the Aggies up by seven with 11:30 left to play. The jumper capped off an 8-0 run by the Aggies in a minute and a half.

The Mavericks fought to stay close, but the Aggies continued to dominate the second half by taking their largest lead of the game at 54-41 with just over ten to play. A 3-pointer by Jackson and a jumper by Moore extended the Aggies' run to 21-4, giving them a 16-point lead at 59-43 with 7:50 left in the game.

With 3:32 left to play, the Aggies' overwhelming force could be attributed to a shooting percentage of 62 percent, compared to 55 percent by the Mavericks. UT-Arlington would end the game on a 10-0 run in the last 1:47, but it wouldn't be enough as they fell to the Aggies by 10, 72-62.

In the first half of the game, defense was the dominant as each team only managed to tally four points apiece in the first five minutes of the game. At this time, the Aggies had shot a mere 16 percent from the field while the Mavericks were only shooting 25 percent.

The Mavericks would then score four consecutive points to take the lead at 8-6 with 13:05 to play in the half, but the Aggies responded with an Allen Haynes three-pointer to give them a 9-8 advantage.

Both teams battled back and forth for the lead in the first ten minutes of the first half, but poor shooting from both teams led to a tied score at 14 with 8:41 left to play before halftime.

Although UT-Arlington had out-rebounded the Aggies 13-8, the Mavericks fell behind when Haynes rattled off two more 3-pointers followed by two free throws by Gary Jackson to give the Aggies their largest lead at 19-14 with 7:57 left to play in the half.

The free throws would spark a 10-2 run by the Aggies that was capped off by a steal and a breakaway dunk by Jackson to put NMSU up 24-16 with just over four minutes to go. The Mavericks then went on a run of their own to cut the lead to two at 26-24 with one minute left to play in the first half, but turnovers to the Aggies led to their two point deficit at halftime.

Leading the Aggies at halftime was Allen Haynes with 11 points after sinking three of four baskets from behind the 3-point arc following a one for six performance against New Mexico Highlands two nights earlier. The Mavericks were led by Steven Thomas and Roy Johnson who had eight apiece.

Despite out-rebounding the Aggies 17-11, the Mavericks would trail the Aggies at the half due to committing five more turnovers, and not attempting any three-point baskets. The Aggies led going into the locker room after only hitting 35 percent of their field goal attempts compared to UT-Arlington's 52 percent.

The Aggies will be back in action this Saturday, November, 29 as they take on Eastern New Mexico at 7:05 in the Pan American Center


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