LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The New Mexico State men's basketball team rallied back from a 13-point deficit Saturday night in front of 11,889 Aggie fans and defeated Seattle U 59-53 for its 11th-straight win.
The win mark head coach Chris Jans' 50th at the helm since taking over the Aggie basketball program in April 17, 2017, making him the fastest head coach to 50 wins in program history. Saturday's victory was also the program's 15th-straight home conference victory.
With the house that Lou Henson built packed, NM State (22-4, 11-1 WAC) had a tough time finding the bottom of the net the first 12-plus minutes of action and shot just 14.3-percent (2-of-14) from the field at the 7:02 media break. To make matters worse, Seattle U (13-12, 1-9 WAC) converted on all six Aggie turnovers into 12 points for the 20-8 lead at that moment.
NM State's offense finally woke up out of that media break and a furious rally began. AJ Harris got things going with four-straight points followed by eight of the next 10 points coming from Trevelin Queen, including a put-back with 29 seconds left in the half to bring NM State within 29-22 of Seattle U at the break.
The Aggies got some help in the second-half behind triples from Queen and Harris to get within 36-29 of SU before the Redhawks answered with a quick 4-0 run to push it back to 40-29. However, a steal and high-flying dunk from Johnny McCants followed by a 3-ball from JoJo Zamora cut the Seattle U lead to 40-34 heading into the 11:24 media break after McCants drew a huge charge after Zamora's 3-pointer.
Out of that break, NM State went on 7-2 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Brown to bring the Aggies within 42-41 of the Redhawks with 8:30 on the clock.
Brown tied things up at 47-47 after hitting both free-throws, but the Redhawks went back up by a bucket on the next possession, 49-47. Clayton Henry then gave New Mexico State its first lead, 50-49, since the 1-0 lead to start the game from Eli Chuha's free-throw and forced Seattle U to call a timeout with 5:07 left to play.
From there, it was all NM State as the Aggies held Seattle U to just one field-goal in the final 5:07 minutes of action. During that span, NM State drew two charges and blocked two shots down the stretch, both coming from Queen.
Queen led the Aggies with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting with five rebounds and a whopping six blocks. Harris added dozen of his own with three boards and three assists while Brown chipped in with nine points and five boards.
BY THE NUMBERS
NM State has now won four-straight games when trailing at the half with a 4-3 mark, the Aggies finished with a 9-0 edge in fastbreak points, seven of which came in the second-half, NM State has now won 11-straight home wins.
NM State remains on the road next week and will host a pair of games. First up will be Texas A&M International on Tuesday, Feb. 19, for a 7 p.m. (MT) tip-off before entertain UT Rio Grande Valley into town for a 4 p.m. game on Saturday, Feb. 23.