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New Mexico State holds off Southeastern Oklahoma State in exhibition win
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CrimsonPhantom Offline
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New Mexico State holds off Southeastern Oklahoma State in exhibition win
Quote:LAS CRUCES – In an exhibition game, you’re trying different lineups and want to see what works for the upcoming season.

But New Mexico State coach Chris Jans said he can’t remember a time in his coaching career where the other team shot 64 percent from the field like Division II Southeastern Oklahoma State did on Wednesday night in the Aggies’ 90-82 exhibition win at the Pan American Center.

“If we give up 64 percent from the field, it’s going to be a long year for the Aggies,” Jans said. “I don’t anticipate giving up that kind of percentage the rest of the year, to be honest with you. We’ll have to break the film the down to see how much of it was mistakes and breakdowns. I am sure we had plenty of them. I know that.

“But they made some shots too.”

The Savage Storm – who have five Division I transfers and two from Power 5 Conference programs – shot 10 of 17 from three (58.8 percent). Southeastern outscored NMSU 48-44 in the second half and shot 67.9 percent (19 of 28) in the final 20 minutes.

NMSU’s biggest lead was 13 midway through the second half, but Southeastern never went away, cutting the lead to 72-68 with 6:28 to go and to 82-76 with 2:55 to go.

“I feel like the biggest thing on the defensive end was commutating,” said NMSU junior post Eli Chuha, who had 26 points on 11 of 16 shooting and seven rebounds in 28 minutes. “I feel like we weren’t talking enough on defense. Calling backscreens, saying we need to switch or whatever the case was, I feel like we were not commutating well enough and that’s why, I felt like, they kept getting a lot of easy buckets.”

Jans said he thinks NMSU’s defense will be a staple of their teams and program.

“The first time out, it (the defense) wasn’t very good,” Jans said.

NMSU did force 18 turnovers though and scored 28 points off those turnovers.

The Aggies also looked tired at times, meaning getting into shape is something NMSU will work on before the season gets officially underway.

“I feel like we are not in good shape right now,” Chuha said. “They outworked us a lot of the time. We are out of shape right now pretty much.”

There was a big gap in productivity between the returning NMSU players and the new players. In addition to Chuha’s solid night, Aggie senior Jemerrio Jones had a double-double with 18 points on 9 of 14 shooting and 10 rebounds - seven of those offensive – in 27 minutes and senior Johnathon Wilkins had 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting and seven rebounds.

Senior Joe Garza added nine points on 3 of 7 shooting.

Sophomore guard AJ Harris and graduate transfer guard Zach Lofton both played Wednesday night, but both have not had much practice lately because of injuries. Harris had been out with a concussion and Lofton with a hip flexor.

Harris had three points on 1 of 3 shooting in 25 minutes and Lofton had four points on 2 of 4 shooting in 13 minutes. Jans said that Lofton has practiced once in the past 12 or 13 days and Harris had not practiced at all with contact in the past six days.

11-02-2017 11:27 AM
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