USU comes up short in Las Cruces against NewMags

The Utah State Men’s basketball team went on a 10-0 run in the last minutes of their game against New Mexico State Saturday in Las Cruces, but a Jonathan Gibson two-point jumper with 17 seconds left sealed the 55-52 win for NMSU. New Mexico State had an 11-point lead at one point of the second half, but USU fought back to cut the score to 53-52 with 47 seconds remaining. That was as close as USU would get, however, with Pooh Williams three-point jumper with 3 seconds left not going in and allowing NMSU to get off to a 1-0 start in WAC play. Tai Wesley led the Aggies with 14 points and 9 rebounds and Tyler Newbold had 12 points for the Utah State Aggies. Jonathan Gibson had 19 points for NMSU and Wendell McKines had 10. Turnovers were a problem for USU Saturday night, with 15 turnovers to only seven assists. USU Head Coach Stew Morrill said that’s something that will have to be fixed in the future if the Aggies hope to get back on the winning track. “You’d like to see seven assists, 15 turnovers turned around,” Morrill said. “We had a really hard time scoring; we shot a pretty good percentage, but we had a hard time scoring.” Senior point guard Jared Quayle said the USU defense showed up to play Saturday but the offensive struggles were clear. “We wanted to hold them to a low score and we did that,” Quayle said. “We we had a good effort on the defensive end … our offense just needs to improve. “I don’t know what to say, we’ve got to be more focused and be more mentally prepared.” Morrill said, however, he wasn’t disappointed with his teams effort Saturday. “We competed really hard,” he said. “It was a low scoring defensive battle. I thought we played really hard, I thought they played really hard, it just came down to a few points and they scored more than we did.” USU now embarks on the difficult second leg of this road trip with a Sunday full of travel to Ruston, La. The team planned to travel to El Paso, Texas Saturday night to stay in a hotel and wake up at 6 a.m. to fly east. Morrill said the team planned to practice at about 7 p.m. Sunday night, but they’d have to limit what they do in practice so as not to tire the team out. “This stretch is going to test us,” Morrill said. “We’ve got to understand that this is the nature of road games in the WAC.”

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