Aggies spank cold-shooting Hounds


LAS CRUCES — Forward James Moore led four New Mexico State players in double figures with 19 points Saturday night and the Aggies pulled away in the second half to wallop Eastern New Mexico University 78-44.

Former Roswell High standout Gary Jackson added 18 points and nine rebounds in only 18 minutes for NMSU (3-0), while forward Kelsey Crooks collected 11 points and 11 rebounds and former Hobbs standout Allen Haynes scored 10 points.

“Gary Jackson was the best player on the floor for us tonight,” NMSU coach Lou Henson said. “He played great defense, got some boards and scored points when we needed him to.”

Junior Edmound Elzy was the lone Greyhound in double figures with 11 points. The Greyhounds shot 21 percent from the field for the game, including 4-of-24 in the second half.

The Hounds (2-2) had only one field goal over the final 15 minutes, a 3-pointer — their only one of the game — from Elzy with 7:47 left. The Aggies outscored ENMU 25-7 the rest of the way.

Both teams struggled early, but the Aggies opened a 9-2 lead with 15:48 left in the half on a basket by Moore.

Crooks’ 3-pointer put NMSU in front 20-11 with 7:13 to go, but the Hounds closed to 25-21 when Jamaal Hunnicutt scored from close range with 2:27 left in the half.

The Aggies scored the next seven points, including a dunk by Jackson and a 3-pointer by Haynes, and led 32-23 at the break.

“I was really aggressive tonight,” Jackson said. “Coach gave me the chance to play, and I did well. I’m just happy we got the win.”

The teams traded points for the first three minutes of the second half, but the Aggies opened a 42-30 lead with 15 minutes to go. Garland Coleman’s fast-break layup and two free throws by Elzy kept the Hounds within 44-34, but Haynes’ 3-pointer kicked off a 9-0 run that gave New Mexico State a 19-point lead with eight minutes left.

“We got our hats handed to us,” ENMU coach Shawn Scanlan said. “I thought we defended well, but our shooting killed us.”

NMSU shot 44 percent for the game, with Moore (8-of -13) and Jackson (7-of-12) using their height advantage inside against the smaller Hounds.

The Aggies dominated the boards 50-38, with Elzy and Hunnicutt each grabbing eight rebounds for Eastern.