Morris scored 16 points and senior Brandon Mason hit two clutch free throws with :12 remaining as the Aggies held on for a tight victory over Texas-Pan American, 62-59.
The Aggies (1-0) trailed 34-31 at halftime, but came out on fire in the second half. Morris prompted a 20-8 run with a dunk and the Aggies led 51-42 with 9:32 remaining. But the Broncos rallied furiously behind the strong shooting of Allen Holcomb. Holcomb finished the game 10-of-11 from the field with 20 points.
The Broncos (0-1) got as close as 60-59 with :12 remaining, but Mason sank both of his foul shots to seal the game for NMSU.
?Texas-Pan American was a tough opponnent,? said Aggie coach Lou Henson. ?Our shooting in the first half was not near as good as it was the second, and our defense really picked it up in the second half.
Mason, playing in his first game of the season, finished with six points and four assists. James Felder also played a strong game, scoring seven points and grabbing 10 boards. Kelsey Crooks also had 10
"Kelsey really had some crucial rebounds for us early on,? said Henson. "We now need to focus and prepare for tomorrow.
New Mexico State led throughout the first half until the 5:55 mark, when Delvis Diaz? lay-up tied it at 26-26. The Broncos outscored the Aggies 8-5 the rest of the half, and led going into halftime.
"It seemed like we came out flat in the beginning, but after we warmed up, we seemed to start playing our game,? said Morris. "My back loosened up for me in the warm-ups, and that allowed me to shoot well.
The Aggies went 12-of-17 from the foul line, compared to only 1-of-3 for Texas-Pan American.
They will play against Tulsa tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the second round of the South Padre Island Invitational.