Aggies Drop Fourth-Straight Conference Game 73-58

The Aggies fall to 7-9 on the season and 1-4 in conference play, after losing their fourth straight conference game. This the first time since the 2000-01 season NMSU has lost four straight conference games. Western Kentucky moves to 8-9 on the year and 3-3 in league play.

Western Kentucky simply had too much Nigel Dixon, and New Mexico State couldn't overcome a poor offensive first half.

The result was a 73-58 win for the Hilltoppers on Saturday at E.A. Diddle Arena in front of 6,566 fans.

Western Kentucky is now 8-9 overall and 3-3 in Sun Belt play, while the Aggies slipped to 7-9 and 1-4. NMSU has lost consecutive games in league play.

Dixon was 10-of-13 from the field, scored 23 points and snared eight rebounds to lead the Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky also outscored the Aggies 46-10 inside.

"I feel I can score in the paint at any time," Dixon said. "I just try to be smart inside and take good shots."

Dixon, a 6-foot-11, 350-pound transfer from Florida State, had made 69.2 percent of his shots heading into Saturday's game.

"We tried to do different things against him," NMSU coach Lou Henson said. "He's very good inside and makes you pay when he gets the ball."

The Aggies also were hurt by 21 turnovers, their second consecutive game with 20-plus in that category.

Western Kentucky took advantage, scoring 22 points off those Aggie turnovers.

"Turnovers did hurt us," NMSU forward James Moore said. "It's been tough with the things we have gone through. We played hard, but we have to produce more and be consistent."

The Aggies, who also lost to Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday, played with just seven scholarship players during the two-game road trip.

NMSU, which trailed 34-19 at the break, got back into the game and trailed by just seven, 45-38, with 11:45 remaining after a Byron Davis 3-pointer.

The Aggies began making some shots after a horrendous first half in which they made just 7 of 27. NMSU hit 7 of 13 to start the half to get back into the contest. Forward Kelsey Crooks drained two treys, while Moore and guard Duane John added a couple of buckets each.

"We started to execute, and that's what got us back into the game," Henson said. "We got some good looks and knocked some shots down."

But Western Kentucky picked up its defensive effort again and went on a 14-4 run to go up 59-42 with 7:06 to play.

Moore led the Aggies with 14 points, while John had 11 and a team-best eight rebounds.

"We did some good things in the second half," Henson said. "We have to build on that. Western Kentucky made some big shots today. They hit some big shots when we were making our run."


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