UNO Privateers Hand Aggies A 65-55 Defeat

Aggies fall to 0-2 in SBC Play

Once again a slow start by the Aggies was too much to overcome as the New Mexico State men's basketball team dropped their second straight conference game to the University of New Orleans 65-55 at the UNO Lakefront Arena.

The Aggies are now 8-4 on the year and 0-2 in the conference for the first time since the 1986-87 season. The Privateers improved their record to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in the league.

Junior James Moore led the Aggies in scoring with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and a perfect 4-of-4 from the line. He would also collect three blocks. Junior Kelsey Crooks added nine for the Aggies and sophomore Allen Haynes dropped in seven. NMSU shot 40 percent from the field, making just 20-of-50 shots.

"UNO is a good ball club," Henson said. "They have the premier player in the league and UNO played a great game. We just didn't shoot the ball well tonight and our slow starts really hurt us. We need to shoot the ball. If you don't shoot the ball you don't win and that is what happened tonight. We just had an off night shooting."

For the UNO Privateers, Johnell Smith led his team with 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting, while A.J. Meredith and Hector Romero both dropped in 12. UNO would shoot just under 47 percent for the game.

"The first 15 minutes of the game we had only five or six points," head coach Lou Henson said. "I thought our defensive was O.K. at times, but we didn't get much out of our seniors tonight. We just played a bad game overall. Coming into this game I knew we had to do a lot of things right and we just didn't execute like we needed to."

The Aggies got off to a slow start, making just one of their first five shots and committing five turnovers in the first 6:21 of the game. UNO made five of their first seven shots and led by as many as 12 points in the first half 16-4.

Down by 12 points, NMSU went on a 10-0 run to pull within 16-14 with 9:25 to go in the half. The Aggies would pull to within one at 20-19, but that is as close as the Aggies would get before halftime.

A layup by sophomore Jason Fontenet with four seconds to go in the half pulled the Aggies within two at 30-28, but UNO's A.J. Meredith raced down the court making a layup at the buzzer to give UNO a four point lead at halftime, 32-28.

Crooks led the Aggies in the first half with seven points on 3-of-3 shooting, followed by James Moore with six. Once again the Aggies were plagued by turnovers in the first half , committing nine. NMSU would shoot 50 percent for the half, going 11-of-22. However, the Aggies made just 1-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc and 5-of-9 from the line.

Romero and Meredith led UNO with seven points. The Privateers would shoot 54 percent from the floor.

The Aggies started the second half the same as the first, allowing UNO to go on a 16-4 run, giving the Privateers a 46-32 lead with 11:59 left in the game.

UNO then extend their lead to 52-33 with 8:53 in the game as the Aggies made just two of their first 13 shots to start the second half.

The Aggies would battle back to within nine at 59-50 with 1:41 to go in the game, but two made free throws by Smith and a 3-point basket by Romero sealed the game for the Privateers.

NMSU shot 3-of-14 from behind the arc and 12-of-21 from the charity stripe for the game. UNO would shoot 17-of-24 from the line.

The Aggies will now travel to South Alabama for a Saturday match with the Jaguars. Tip-off is set for 6:05 p.m. MST

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