NMSU confounds Hawaii


POSTED: Sunday, February 01, 2009

LAS CRUCES, N.M. » Bill Amis said the goal on the road is just to keep it close and have a chance to win at the end.




NMSU   82


Thursday vs. Fresno State




Amis and the Hawaii men's basketball team did just that over the weekend.

Following Thursday's dramatic win at Louisiana Tech, the Rainbow Warriors finished their two-game Western Athletic Conference road trip with a split after losing 82-72 at New Mexico State last night at the Pan American Center.

“;On the road, you want to try and control the tempo as much as you can and we were trying to do that the first 16 minutes, but they had a 2- or 3-minute stretch where they made a run and it hurt us,”; said Amis, who finished with a season-high 18 points to go with nine rebounds.

Hawaii fell to 10-11 overall and 2-7 in the WAC, while NMSU moved to 11-11 and 5-4.

Amis and junior Roderick Flemings were focal points in the first half, combining for 18 of the Rainbows' 31 first-half points, but a 13-3 Aggies run late in the period put the Warriors down 39-31 at the break.

Flemings posted his seventh game over 20 points, finishing with a game-high 27 and outscoring NMSU guard Jahmar Young (25).

Against the Aggies' zone, Flemings knocked down the Rainbows' only two 3-pointers of the first half. Flemings lost the range in the second and so did his team, as Hawaii finished 3-for-16 (18.8 percent) from long range and 23-for-60 (38.3 percent) from the field for the game.

What's more, the Rainbows lost their discipline in transition defense, allowing the Aggies to build a 12-point advantage with a 15-8 run.

Aggies reserve guard Gordo Castillo came off the bench to drain four 3-pointers in a 4-minute span. The first 3 was off an inbounds pass from halfcourt, when Young found Castillo in the corner. Aggies point guard Hernst Laroche found Castillo in transition on the left wing to put NMSU up 50-39, and despite four consecutive points from Flemings, Castillo drilled another triple and Terrance Joyner followed with a jumper to open a 59-47 lead with 8:12 to play.

“;You just want to keep chipping away and stay in it,”; Amis said. “;We did that on Thursday, and tonight it got away from us. We were still in it in the end, but they still had control of the game.”;

The Aggies made eight of 14 from long range, connecting on five of seven in the second half.

“;I thought in the second half, to let Castillo get off for those four 3s, two of them uncontested simply because we weren't cognizant of where he was, I thought that was a big separation that we couldn't overcome,”; Rainbows coach Bob Nash said. “;We just have to play better defense and understand where shooters are and get to them. We had a couple lapses.”;

Facing an uptempo NMSU team, the Rainbows topped their point production in WAC play, surpassing the 65 points they put up on Jan. 5 against Louisiana Tech. The Aggies' 82 points was a season high by a UH WAC opponent.

The Rainbows made eight of their first 12 shots and led by as many as four early. Hawaii scored 28 points in the paint and went 23-for-32 at the foul line.

The Aggies took their first lead of the game with 11:08 left in the first half at 20-19, but after Amis hit from inside to make it 26-26 at 4:35, Young hit one of the Aggies' eight 3-pointers to spark a 13-3 run. It was highlighted the next time down on a lob from Young to Wendell McKines that gave the crowd of 6,355 something to cheer about while providing a 39-29 cushion.

“;To play this team this well despite not shooting particularly well, I thought it was good in the sense that they gave a great effort,”; Nash said. “;In our system, what we were lacking was that third scorer tonight.”;

Amis and Flemings combined for 29 of the team's 60 field-goal attempts.

The Rainbows were playing catch-up for the rest of the night, closing to within seven in the last 3 minutes, but the Aggies won a free-throw contest by closing out the game 12-for-14 from the line in the final 1:53.

The Rainbows' 72 points came two days after a 54-53 victory at Louisiana Tech, where Petras Balocka tipped in a miss at the buzzer.

“;Any win on the road is a good win,”; Amis said. “;Hopefully we will start getting some more of them.”;












































































































































Rainbow Warriors (10-11, 2-7)





Aggies (11-11, 5-4)



Key—fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fould; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.
Halftime—New Mexico State 39, Hawaii 31.
3-point goals—Hawaii 3-16 (Flemings 2-6, Mayen 1-2, Thompson 0-2, Nitoto 0-3, Parghalava 0-3), New Mexico State 8-14 (Castillo 4-4, Young 3-4, Laroche 1-1, Gibson 0-5).
Steals—Hawaii 5 (Thompson 2, Flemings, Amis, Parghalava), New Mexico State 6 (Joyner 2, Gibson, McKines, Gabriel). Blocked shots—Hawaii 1(Balocka), New Mexico State 4(Rahman 2, Gabriel 2).
Officials—Stanley Reynolds, Shawn Lehigh, Casey McClellan. Attendance—6,355.