New Mexico St. 88, Chicago State 78
CHICAGO (AP)—New Mexico State won an 88-78 nail-biter against Chicago State on Monday.
Justin Hawkins led the Aggies (10-3) in the first half, scoring 12 and grabbing two steals and two assists. He finished the night with 22 points and five assists.
“He’s been playing well all year,” New Mexico head coach Reggie Theus said of Hawkins. “He’s very tough to deal with at the basket.”
Tyrone Nelson had a game-high 10 rebounds for the Aggies and 13 points. Resident big man Hatila Passos added nine rebounds and 17 points.
Chicago State Cougar David Holston countered with a game-high 24 points and three assists for Chicago State (5-13). Teammate Royce Parran had the most assists (11) and steals (5) in the game.
“This is a very difficult team to play against,” Theus said of the Cougars.
The second half was pretty much a six-point game until the last two minutes, when the Aggies widened their lead to 10 points off a dunk by Passos.
The Aggies were without Martin Iti, who banged up his left knee last week. It has been a pattern for a team that has only had one game this season when everyone could play.