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LAS CRUCES — The New Mexico State men’s basketball team improved to 7-1 after defeating Prairie View A&M, 91-60, on Wednesday night inside the Pan American Center. The Aggies have won seven-straight games after losing their first game of the season to Western Michigan in Hawai’i. The Panthers, meanwhile fall to 1-5.
Not only was it the 15th-consecutive win for NM State in front of its home crowd, it was also the 550th win for the Aggie men’s basketball program inside the Pan American Center.
NM State was led by its 7-foot-5 sophomore center Sim Bhullar who etched his name in the Aggie record books by finishing with 10 total blocks, breaking the record for most individual blocks in a game held by former NM State player James Moore who had eight blocks on Feb. 7, 2004.
The Aggies as a team had a total of 14 blocks against Prairie View, also breaking the record for most blocks in a game by a NM State team. The old record was 12, done twice by the Aggies, first versus Creighton in 1978 and again this past February against Texas-San Antonio.
Bhullar also added 11 points for a rare points-blocks double-double, his second double-double of the season. The Aggie big man was two rebounds away from his first triple-double in his career after finishing with eight boards on the night.
NM State junior guard Daniel Mullings led the team in both points and rebounds after finishing with 17 and nine respectively, barely missing his first double-double of the season.
Junior guard DK Eldridge added 16 points for the Aggies while fellow junior guard K.C. Ross-Miller added another 11 points.
NM State almost sank half of its shots, making 28-of-57 to finish with a 49.1 shooting percentage while holding the Panthers to 30-percent shooting.
The Aggies took control of the game early with the help of a 10-0 run. With the game tied at five, NM State would score the next 10 points to take a 15-5 lead with 14:22 left in the first half.
Junior center Tshilidzi Nephawe and Mullings would each sink two buckets during the run.
The 10-point run would be just an appetizer to what would come next for the Aggies. Leading 15-9 with just over 13 minutes left in the half, NM State would go on an incredible 25-0 run that would span over eight minutes.
The Panthers would not score again until they made running layup with 4:59 left in the half. By that time the Aggies held a commanding 40-11 lead. NM State would close the half with a 47-20 cushion.
The Aggies made half of their shots during the first half, going 16-of-32, while holding Prairie View to a 24.2 shooting percentage (8-of-33). NM State also made one-third of its shots from beyond the arc (3-of-9) and 85.7 percent of its free throws (12-14) en route to the 27-point lead.
Mullings and Bhullar each had eight points and five rebounds to lead the Aggies at the half in both categories. Nephawe and senior guard Kevin Aronis also added eight points apiece during the half.
The Panthers marked the first five points of the second half to cut the lead to 22, but would never pose a real threat to the NM State lead. Prairie View A&M would once again cut the lead to 22 at 62-40 midway through the second half, but consecutive slam dunks by Mullings and senior forward Renaldo Dixon would thwart any momentum that the Panthers had.
The Aggies will now hit the road for a matchup against Colorado State on Saturday, Nov. 30, in Fort Collins, Colo. beginning at 4 p.m. (MT) before returning home for the first installment of the I-25 rivalry against New Mexico on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
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