ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It may have not been the prettiest performance from New Mexico State men’s basketball on Sunday, but the Aggies did win their season opener with an 83-77 victory over Arizona Christian University. The Aggies led by 5 at the break, and at one point they led by 12 in the 2nd half, but Arizona Christian would not go away.
The Firestorm got a game-high of 26 points from Angelo Johnson and finished shooting 43% from the field. The Aggies and Firestorm would trade leads down the stretch of this game, but NMSU’s veterans would set themselves apart when it counted.
NMSU had clutch late-game performances from Donnie Tillman, Johnny McCants, and Jabari Rice. Redshirt senior Clayton Henry finished the game with a game-high of 20 points for the Aggies, but Tillman and Rice would close this one out and finish with a combined 29 points.
NMSU dominated in the paint and outrebounded the Firestorm, but the quickness and high percentage of made shots would catch NMSU on their heels. “We struggled obviously, I thought it would be a struggle at times. I wish we would have played a little bit better, but it is what it is. We needed this game, there will be so many teaching moments for us. I am certainly glad that we won, it wasn’t one of our prettiest games, but we will learn from it, grow from it, and hopefully be better in the next outing”, said NMSU Head Basketball Coach Chris Jans. NMSU will move on to play Benedictine Mesa on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
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