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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

HALFTIME: Arizona 44, New Mexico State 40

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Arizona leads New Mexico State 44-40 at halftime in the Pan American Arena.

The Aggies jumped out to a 10-2 lead behind two triples and eight points from forward Wendell McKines. But the Wildcats clawed back as they ripped off a 10-2 run of their own to tie things up at 12 with 15:44 left in the half.

NMSU and UA traded buckets until the Wildcats went on an 11-0 run to take a 27-19 lead with 8:48 remaining. During Arizona’s run Solomon Hill, Jordin Mayes and Nick Johnson each drilled a triple and the Wildcats finished the half 6-for-13 from distance.

The Aggies eventually cut UA’s lead to three with 1:20 left in the half, but NMSU couldn’t get any closer than that as the Wildcats cling to a 4-point lead at halftime.

While the Wildcats are in control, they paid for starting a small lineup — Jordin Mayes, Kyle Fogg, Nick Johnson, Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry — as they were dominated on the glass 21-15.

The bigger and more physical Aggies corralled 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, four of which came from 6-foot-10 center Tshilidzi Nephawe. Arizona needs an answer in the paint if it hopes to hang on in the second half.

Johnson, who started the first game of his college career, leads the Wildcats with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting. Hill continues his solid play as he’s racked up eight points, four rebounds and three assists.

The Wildcats are shooting 60.0 percent from the field and have already handed out 11 assists. The Aggies, on the other hand, are shooting only 41.7 percent and are led by McKines’ 13 points.

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