New Mexico St. comes back to beat Fresno St. 69-64

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FRESNO, Calif. (AP)—Justin Hawkins and Fred Peete each scored 14 points as New Mexico State came alive in the second half to defeat Fresno State 69-64 on Saturday night.

After trailing by as many as 15 points, New Mexico State went ahead 65-64 on Herb Pope’s spinning jumper in the lane with 1:03 left. Jahmar Young and Hatila Passos each hit two free throws in the final 15 seconds to seal the victory.

Pope added 11 points for New Mexico State, which improved to 17-13 overall and 10-4 in the Western Athletic Conference. Hawkins had 10 of his points in the second half.

Kevin Bell had 23 points and seven assists for Fresno State (13-16, 5-9). Eddie Miller added 21 points, including five 3-pointers in the second half.

New Mexico State used its size advantage to dominate the middle, outscoring the Bulldogs 32-14 in the paint. The Aggies also made 12 steals while forcing 19 turnovers, including six by Bell.

Hawkins gave New Mexico State its first lead, 49-48 with 9:24 left, by finding Gibson cutting to the hoop on an inbounds pass. Miller answered with consecutive 3-pointers as Fresno State surged ahead 54-49 before the Aggies took control in the final minutes.

Dwight O’Neil’s 3-pointer with 1:35 left put the Bulldogs ahead 64-63 before Pope’s jumper gave New Mexico State the lead for good.

The Aggies scored 25 of their points off Fresno State turnovers.

Bell’s 15 first-half points and a 7-0 edge in fast break points propelled the Bulldogs to a 30-24 halftime lead. Fresno State led 22-7 at one point before New Mexico State began its comeback.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 New Mexico St.
Fred Peete Fred Peete
5-9,  14 Pts
4 Rebs, 8 Assists
 Fresno St.
Kevin Bell Kevin Bell
9-16,  23 Pts
4 Rebs, 7 Assists

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Saturday, Mar 1