box score LAS CRUCES, NM – After climbing back in the second half, the Aggies (7-8, 0-3 WAC) were unable to reach the top of the hill as they fell to 0-3 in conference play after a 69-60 loss on the road at Stephen F Austin (11-5, 3-0 WAC).
“I told the guys, I’m not disappointed with our effort, we just have to compete smarter as a group,” said Head Coach Greg Heiar following the game. “They got some timely offensive rebounds in the final 10 minutes of the game that really hurt us and they made us pay.
“Nobody in that locker room has given up and no one in that locker room is going to give up.”
Leading the charge with 20 points was senior guard Xavier Pinson who turned in 14 second-half points while adding a team-high seven assists. Marchelus Avery also submitted a solid stat line as he posted his second double-double of the season – finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
As a team, the Aggies failed to eclipse 40% shooting for the fourth time this season as they combined to go 23-59 from the field. NM State did outrebound the Jacks (44-36), including 17 of which came on the offensive end of the floor. However, the Aggies were only able to turn in 11 points via those second chances.
On the opposing side, four SFA scorers finished with double figures, including leading scorer Day Day Hall who concluded the night with 18 points. Latrell Jossell caused problems for the Aggies on the perimeter – finishing 5-10 from beyond the arc to tally 15 points.
- The Aggies were able to get on the board first as Issa Muhammad scored the first two for either side, however, SFA would then go on an 11-point run to take a quick double-digit lead less than six minutes into the game.
- Aggie Nation caught its first glimpse of Greg Heair’s latest addition, Mady Traoré, who checked into the game at the 17:32 mark and proceeded to score five of the Aggies’ first nine points.
- The Jacks would eventually work the lead up to 16 points (30-14) with 2:31 remaining on the clocks when Marchelus Avery kickstarted a 10-1 run to close the half and help the Aggies pull back within seven entering the locker room.
- Maintaining the momentum created at the end of the first period, DaJuan Quaye Gordon opened with a dunk on the Aggies’ first possession of the second half – putting the deficit at just five points.
- However, the ensuing five points would fall on the Jacks’ side of the scoreboard as they pushed the gap back to double digits.
- Once again, Avery helped serve as a catalyst for a quick Aggie run as he and Xavier Pinson combined to score 10 points in less than two minutes while NM State limited SFA to just two points during the stretch to allow the Aggies to reduce the lead to just three points with 14:31 to play.
- The one-possession difference was short-lived, though, as Stephen F. Austin hit three triples to score nine unanswered points and extend the lead back to 12 points.
- Unfortunately for the Aggies, the closest they would get in the final 10 minutes of play was eight points as SFA went on to secure a nine-point win.
NUMBERS OF NOTES
- Marchelus Avery notched 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to record his second double-double of the season and second in his last four games.
- Issa Muhammad finished 5-6 from the field to post 11 points for his third double-digit scoring effort in the previous five outings.
- Xavier Pinson reached the 20-point mark for the fourth time this season as he finished as the Aggies’ high-point man for the fifth this season.
- James Beck appeared in the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 14 when the Aggies were on the road at Saint Mary’s.
- DaJuan Quaye Gordon’s streak of seven straight games in double figures came to an end on Wednesday night as he finished with three points.
- The newest member of the Aggie squad, Mady Traoré, turned in five points in 11 minutes in his debut with the program.
- As a team, the Aggies finished one block shy of equalizing their season-high as they rejected six SFA shots.
- Coming off a game in which it scored just 62 against Sam Houston, NM State scored just 60 points on the road on Wednesday night to record a new season low.