Passos hit 6 of 8 shots, all of them from the paint. At the line, he connected on all four of his free throw attempts.
The Aggies have at times struggled this season from the free-throw line, but they followed Passos example Monday night to finish 23 of 32 from the line against the Golden Lions (2-6).
Pine Bluff had trouble getting to the line since NMSU played a cleaner game than on Saturday against UTEP, when the Aggies committed 26 fouls. The Golden Lions had only 14 trips to the free-throw line
George Davis led the Lions with 12 points on 5 of 11 shooting. Martin Iti finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds for the Aggies.
NMSU secured its largest lead of the first half on an 11-0 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Elijah Ingram to make it 24-11 with 10:48 to go.
The Lions came within 37-31 at the half, but their offensive effort stalled early in the second half. NMSU scored the first eight points before the Lions finally made a basket with 17:27 left to play.
NMSU put the game out of reach with 10 unanswered points starting at the 13:08 mark with 7 straight from Iti and ending with Ingram's third 3-pointer of the night for a 59-39 Aggie lead with 9:58 to play.