NMSU was just too much, and at one point (or for most of the second half) it men vs. boys.
After a week filled with drama, and change the UTEP basketball team continues it’s downward spiral with an ugly 80-60 loss to NMSU.
Four Aggies scored in double figures, while no UTEP players scored in double figures. After a quick UTEP start, NMSU took over from there, and the anguish of another losing season sent UTEP fans home early.
The Aggies shot 51.9 percent from the floor, forced 18 UTEP turnovers and out scored UTEP 38-26 in the paint in a dominating performance.
UTEP got off to a nice start, jumping out to a quick 11-5 lead at the under 16 timeout, but that lead would evaporate quickly after the timeout as UTEP settled for long jumpers, and repeatedly turned the ball over the rest of the half.
The Miners would shoot 1-for-10 from the floor at one point, and turn it over five times in the seven minute span and the Aggies never looked back.
A pair of free throws from Jemerrio Jones, then a 3-pointer from Sidy N’Dir sparked a 14-2 NMSU run as the Aggies led 29-16 after Jones laid one up with 5:06 left until halftime to cap the run.
NMSU led 37-23 at the halftime break as UTEP shot 34.6 percent from the field, and tuned it over 12 times leading to 16 first half points off turnovers for the Aggies.
More of the same transpired in the second half, as a quick 8-0 NMSU made it 57-34 Aggies at the 9:34 mark of the second half.
From there NMSU turned the game into an NBA All-Star game with dunks and alley-oops, while making UTEP look like a glorified JUCO team under Phil Johnson in his first game as interim head coach.
Trey Touchet, Tirus Smith, Keith Frazier, and Paul Thomas each scored nine points, but UTEP ended the game shooting 37.5 percent from the field, and 4-for-23 from 3-point land.
In the end, UTEP gave 20 points off turnovers, and dropped their six straight loss.
The Miners will host New Mexico Saturday.