New Mexico State came out aggressive against UMKC on offense and defense. The Aggies won the game, 64-77, and Braxton Huggins contributed 31 points to the total.
“I guess it feels pretty good, but I’m really happy we got the win, at the end of the day,” said Huggins.
UMKC faced a full-court press for most of the game, which helped the Aggies push their lead to 14 points with three minutes to go in the first half. The Roos battled back and cut the lead in half before going into the locker room.
“I thought New Mexico State did a really good job setting the tempo early on with their transition offense,” said Coach Kareem Richardson. “On the defensive end, they dictated the tempo early on – with their pressing and trapping.”
The Aggies transition offense scored 14 fast-break points. They also shot 50 percent from the field.
The Roos will play New Mexico State again on Saturday, Jan. 21 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
“When we tell our guys that Huggins is an awesome shooter and he shoots with deep range – that you have to be there on the catch – they’ll believe us next time,” said Richardson.
For the Roos, Kyle Steward had 12 rebounds, eight points, two assists, and two steals. LaVell Boyd scored 15 points and shot 1-6 from 3-point territory.
UMKC shot poor from downtown, and the rest of the field. Late in the game Isaiah Ross was able to knock down two 3-pointers. The Roos were 3-15.
Dashawn King kept up his aggressive drives towards the basket and went 3-4 from the field and made both his free-throw attempts. King and the Aggies, Braxton Huggins, received technical fouls after a deadball call. Emotions runs high in conference games and the referees were quick with their whistle to keep order in the game.
UMKC’s next conference game is Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against UT Rio Grande Valley at Municipal Auditorium.