New Mexico State downs Utah State 80-69

LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Wendell McKines scored 20 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to lead New Mexico State past Utah State 80-69 on Saturday.Hernst Laroche scored 16 points and had seven assists for New Mexico State (18-8, 7-3 WAC).Utah State (13-13, 5-6) was led by Preston Medlin with 16 points, while Danny Berger had a career-high 14 points.Kyisean Reed hit a free throw to put Utah State up 66-65 with 5:55 remaining. Utah State went on a scoring drought and watched New Mexico State unleash a 15-3 run to ensure the win.New Mexico State was sparked by LaRoche, who blocked a 3-point attempt by Medlin, stole the ball and made a layup with 2:30 remaining. Utah State had four turnovers in the final 2:20.New Mexico State outrebounded its opponent 34-21 and had nine steals.The game was tied 55-all at the end of regulation.New Mexico State claimed an early 23-17 lead midway through the first half behind 3 of 5 shooting on 3-pointers. Utah State countered with a 14-0 run and led 31-23, sparked by four consecutive 3-pointers of its own, two from reserve Mitch Bruneel.Two consecutive layups by Daniel Mullings, one on a steal, snapped Utah State’s run and helped New Mexico State end the half on an 11-0 run.Bandja Sy dropped in two consecutive 3-pointers to close the half, part of New Mexico State’s 5 of 7 shooting from 3-point distance.The visiting Aggies outrebounded Utah State by 15-9 in the first half and shot nearly 58 percent from the field. Coming into the contest, Utah State had held opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the field in 13 of its games this season. However, New Mexico State shot 55.6 percent on Saturday.New Mexico State, which defeated Utah State 80-60 on Jan. 12 on its home floor, is in second place in the WAC behind Nevada.

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