Feb. 22, 2007
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Despite 30 points from Jaycee Carroll, Utah State was unable to rally from a double-digit deficit for the second straight game on the road and lost at New Mexico State 76-73 at the Pan American Center Thursday night.
Utah State, who had its five-game winning streak snapped, falls to 20-8 overall and 8-5 in the Western Athletic Conference with the loss, while New Mexico State improves to 21-6 overall and 9-3 in league play with the win.
Justin Hawkins led New Mexico State with 23 points, while Elijah Ingram had 15 points. Tyrone Nelson also scored in double-figures with 13 points to go along with a game-high eight rebounds.
New Mexico State scored the first three points of the second half to record its biggest lead of the game at 46-26 with 18:40 remaining before Utah State scored the next nine points to get back within 11. USU continued its charge and closed to within six points at 50-44 on a jumper by Chaz Spicer with 14:29 remaining only to see NMSU respond with an 8-0 run to increase its lead back to 14 with 12:37 to play.
Utah State then went on a 7-0 run midway through the second-half to get within four at 64-60 with 8:17 remaining. The New Mags slowly increased its lead back to nine at 74-65 before the USU scored eight straight to get within one at 74-73. USU actually had a chance to tie the game with :47 seconds remaining but DuCharme missed the second of two free throws.
New Mexico State had a chance to ice the game at the line but missed four straight free throws to keep Utah State within one. Utah State then had the ball with :23 seconds remaining with a chance to win but turned the ball over in front of the USU bench. Hawkins then made two free throws for NMSU with :05 seconds remaining to give the hosts a three-point lead. Durrall Peterson then missed a desperation shot from 30-feet at the buzzer for Utah State that would have tied the game.
Utah State scored the first four points of the game on lay-ups by Chaz Spicer and Stephen DuCharme before New Mexico State scored six straight points to take the lead. NMSU then used a 10-2 run to increase its lead to 12 and led 28-16 before Carroll scored 11 straight points followed by a pair of free throws from DuCharme to get USU within five at 29-24 with 6:42 remaining. New Mexico State then finished the half on a 14-2 run to take a 17-point lead at 43-26 into the break.
In the first-half, New Mexico State shot 66.7 percent from the field and was nine-of-16 from the free throw line (.563), while Utah State shot just 30.8 percent from the field and was seven-of-nine from the free throw line (.778). Ingram led NMSU with 11 first-half points, while Hawkins and Martin Iti each had 10. Carroll led USU with 14 first-half points.
Overall, Utah State shot 46.4 percent from the field as compared to 56.3 percent shooting for New Mexico State. USU did make seven-of-16 three-pointers (.438) and was 14-of-17 from the free throw line (.824), while NMSU was just two-of-nine from behind the arc (.222) and 20-of-33 from the charity stripe (.606). New Mexico State also out-rebounded USU 36-25.
Utah State will play its final road game of the regular season on Sat., Feb. 24 at Louisiana Tech at 6 p.m. (MT).
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