A smiling Theus, dressed in a dark pinstripe suit, lime colored tie and neatly tucked hanky, raised his arms in triumph after the final buzzer.
"I don't want to sound too cocky, but I knew what kind of players we had when we came in," said Theus, the former NBA All-Star and Rick Pitino assistant who took over the program after the Aggies went 6-24 in 2004-05, the school's worst season in 39 years.
New Mexico State's Ted Knauber stepped in front of Kris Clark's pass as Utah State was trying for a potential winning or tying shot. Knauber made the steal, was fouled and made two free throws with 12.2 seconds left to make the score 72-68.
When you look at his numbers (10 points), they don't reflect how big he was for us tonight," Theus said.
Utah State's Jaycee Carroll hit a layup with 2 seconds left and New Mexico State gave Utah State one last chance when Tyrone Nelson threw a long inbounds pass that wasn't touched. Utah State got the ball back under its basket with 1.6 seconds left and Carroll, under pressure, was short on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
4 Aggies led the team in double figures