Pascal Siakam finished with 24 points and 23 rebounds and Ian Baker poured in another 22 as the New Mexico State Aggies dropped the Miners for the fifth straight time in Las Cruces.
This was out of hand in hurry. UTEP missed seven of their first eight shots from the field, while the Aggies knocked in 6-10, including three from range to quickly jump out to a 15-2 lead less than four minutes in.
That lead would swell to as many as 16 at 22-6 on a Baker made jumper at the 12:39 mark before the Miners would be able to gain their bearings.
Four threes by the Miners over a three minute period would pull them to within six at 24-18, but like would be the trend all night, every time they would be able to get close, NMSU would quickly create more separation.
A 6-2 spurt would push the Aggies' lead back out to 10 at 30-20, and while the Miners would eventually pull to within four with 4:42 left in the half, they would face a 36-28 deficit heading into the locker rooms.
It was more of the same in the second half. NMSU would score first to push their lead back to 10, and while six straight by Lee Moore would cut it to four, the Miners would go ice cold for nearly four minutes, allowing the Aggies to stretch their lead back out to double digits with 14 minutes to play.
UTEP would be able to get it back to down four once more, this time on an Earvin Morris made three with 10:51 left, but they wouldn't be able to pull any closer than that.
NMSU would eventually stretch their lead back out to 10 by the six minute mark, and would lead by as many as 14 in the closing moments en route to a 73-59 dismantling of the Miners.
Pascal Siakam led all scorers with 24 points and 23 rebounds to go along with 5 blocks. Ian Baker finished with 22 points, 3 assists and 3 steals, and Johnathan Wilkins chipped in with 10 points.
Dominic Artis led the Miners with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Lee Moore finished with 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, and Earvin Moore was the only other Miner in double figures with 10 points.
UTEP shot just 40.7% from the field, while knocking in 8 of their 24 three point attempts. They also made just 7 of 12 free throws. New Mexico State wasn't much better from the field, shooting just 43.3%, knocking in 6-22 threes, and 9-16 from the line.
The Aggies dominated the Miners on the glass with a 50-27 advantage, including 18 to 4 on the offensive end. Both teams had just 13 turnovers, but the Miners managed just 12 assists on the night.
The loss drops the Miners to 6-1 on the season, while the Aggies improve to 5-2. UTEP will now return home to take on UT-Arlington this Saturday at 6:05 pm M.T. in the Don Haskins Center.
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