Aggies Stumble Against the Lobos

All it took to get the fans back into The Pit and to put some serious fight in New Mexico was a rematch with New Mexico State. Throw an angry Danny Granger into the mix and it adds up to a runaway win for the Lobos

The Aggies' three game winning steak against the Lobos was snapped Monday night at The Pit, in Albuquerque, N.M. as NMSU fell to New Mexico 65-49. The Aggies are now 3-2 at The Pit over their last five visits to Albuquerque.

NMSU goes to 5-4 on the season, while dropping four of their last five games, including all three road games this season. The Lobos move to 5-3 on the year.

Senior James Moore led the Aggies for the third straight game with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. This is Moore's third consecutive 20-plus point game. Duane John added 10 points for the Aggies. As a team the Aggies shot 38 percent from the floor, while only hitting 2-of-13 from the 3-point arc.

The Lobos were led by Danny Grander with 22 points, as Troy Devries added 15 points for UNM. As a team, UNM shot 43 percent from the field on 23-of -53 shooting.

The second half began with the Lobos maintaining their 20 point lead with 15:14 to go in the game. It seemed that every time the Aggies would start to find a rhythm the Lobos would answer right back. The Aggies would cut the Lobo lead to 17 points at 49-32 on a 6-2 run with 11:25. Moore led the charge with three straight baskets for the Aggies.

Then with 11:10 to go in the game, Moore picked up his four foul on a charging call. That sparked the Lobos on a 7-4 run, bring their lead back to 20 points at 56-36 with 7:35 remaining.

Despite being in the bonus for most of the second half the Aggies could not cut into the Lobos lead. The Aggies went to the line 12 times in the first 15 minutes of the second half but could only convert on six of those attempts. With 4:47 remaining in the game the Aggies trailed by 18 points at 58-40.

The Aggies would finish the game on a 9-6 run but it was too little too late as the Aggies fell 65-49.

The Lobos started the game on a 9-2 run with 15:26 to go in the half. Grander led the run with four points. Gary Jackson then hit a 3-point basket with 14:41 remaining to quite the crowd and bringing the Aggies to within four points at 9-5.

UNM then extended their lead to eight points at 15-7, with 13:40 to go in the half. Troy DeVries hit his second 3-pointer of the half to give the Lobos the eight point advantage.

The Aggies continued to shoot poorly, as UNM poured it on NMSU. The Lobos went on a 16-2 run, over the next nine minutes of play, allowing the Aggies only one field goal during that time. With 4:30 to go in the half, the Aggies trailed UNM 31-9. NMSU managed to score with 4:11 remaining to cut the lead at 31-11, but the Lobos answered right back with a lay-up by David Chiotti, giving UNM a 33-11 lead with 3:50 to go.

The two teams exchanged baskets over the final 3:50, as the Aggies were unable to gain any ground on the Lobos trailing at half time by 20 points, at 39-19.

For the half, the Aggies shot just 36 percent form the floor on 9-of-25 shooting, while making only 1-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc. Moore led the Aggies with eight points but he would collect three fouls in the first half. The Aggies would not go to the free throw line in the first half, as the Lobos made 7-of-9 attempts from the charity stripe.

UNM shot 42 percent from the floor, as Danny Grander led the Lobos with 13 points.

The Aggies will now have about a week off before traveling to Logan, Utah for the 2003 Gossner Classic, hosted by Utah State University. NMSU will face UT-San Antonio in the first round Monday night December 29, with tip-off set for 5:30 p.m. (MT)

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