Hawkins leads New Mexico St. over Idaho 78-68
MOSCOW, Idaho (AP)—Justin Hawkins scored 18 points Wednesday night to lead the New Mexico State Aggies to a 78-68 win over the Idaho Vandals in both teams’ Western Athletic Conference opener.
Jonathan Gibson added 16 points for the Aggies (7-9), while Jahmar Young, Fred Peete and Martin Iti scored 12 points each.
Mike Hall led the Vandals (3-9) with 15 points, while Michael Crowell and Clyde Johnson scored 11 and 10, respectively.
New Mexico State jumped out to an early 15-6 lead following a Hawkins’ 3-pointer at the 15:03 mark. Idaho kept things interesting through the first 20 minutes with six 3-pointers of its own. Hall led the Vandals from behind the arc, connecting on 4-of-5 attempts for 12 points.
Idaho trailed for the majority of the first half before it took a 28-27 lead with 6:11 to go on a Terrence Simmons’ 3-pointer.
After that, the two teams exchanged the lead nine times and were tied five times before halftime.
New Mexico State never trailed in the second half but Idaho managed to tie the score at 61 with 9:25 remaining on a Brandon Brown free throw.
The Aggies responded with a 6-0 run, but a 3-pointer from Idaho’s Crowell made it 71-68 with 1:36 to play. Idaho missed its next four 3-point attempts and New Mexico State hit its free throws as the game wound down.