March 16, 2012

Hoosiers too much for Ags: 79-66

The New Mexico State Aggie men's basketball season came to an abrupt halt on Thursday night in the second round of the South Regional. The Indiana Hoosiers behind a hot-shooting performance by guard Jordan Hulls, defeated the Aggies, 79-65.

Jordan Hulls went on a second-half shooting spree and finished with 22-points, 2-rebounds, and 3-assists.

Hulls shot 8 of 12, and 7 of 8 in the second half and seemed unstoppable. The Aggie defense, which seemed to be focusing on the inside game of Cody Zeller, controlled the game from the opening tip. Hoosier teammates Cody Zeller, Christian Watford and Will Sheehey chipped in 14-points for Indiana.

The Hoosiers will now face the 12th-seeded VCU Rams and head coach Shaka Smart in the third-round on Saturday afternoon.

Playing his final game in an Aggie uniform, senior Wendell McKines led NMSU (26-10) with 15-points and 9 rebounds. McKines went 6 of 10 shooting on the night and was a perfect 2 for 2 from the foul line, but it wasn't enough to overcome a stout Hoosier team.

Aggie sophomore forward Bandja Sy added 12-points and freshman guard Daniel Mullings added 10-points.

Indiana showed why they had such an impressive regular season with wins over college basketball powerhouse teams such as Kentucky, North Carolina State, Michigan State, and Ohio State. Time and time again the Hoosier offense ran multiple screens, pick-and-rolls, most of the for easy layups. Their three-point shooting was just as impressive.

The Aggies never gave up and mounted a run of their own but each run was answered by the Hoosiers and the hot-hand of Hulls. The Aggies trailed by 13-points with under 13:00 minutes to go but never was able to sustain a much of a run after that and the Hoosiers played smart basketball and simply managed to run out the clock and seal the win.

Playing their final game for NMSU were seniors Wendell McKines, Hamidu Rahman, and Hernst Laroche. All three will be missed and it was a pleasure watching them play at NMSU.

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