Utah State University in desperate need of “Big” help for AVC’s Kyisean Reed. See article from HJNews.com below.
Embarrassing loss for Aggie men
USU falls apart over final 10 minutes at NMSU
- Utah State forward Kyisean Reed dunks the ball against New Mexico State Thursday night in Las Cruces, N.M. (Photo courtesy of Tim Barnett-Queen).
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – A bench-mark game became a forgettable night for Utah State head coach Stew Morrill.
Coaching in his 800th game as a head coach, Morrill watched his Aggies wilt over the final 12 minutes of Thursday night’s Western Athletic Conference game against the other Aggies of the league. New Mexico State turned a tight game into a laugher, dunking its way to a 80-60 win at the Pan American Center in front of an announced crowd of 5,214 fans.
"This was embarrassing to me and it should be embarrassing to them (USU players)," said Morrill, who gave his team a long tongue lashing following the game. "It’s a joke. … That was embarrassing because that is not what Utah State basketball has been about. They should be embarrassed. They just quit playing."
After 11 lead changes and 14 ties through the first 28 minutes of the contest, the host Aggies went on a 9-0 run that ended up being a sign of things to come. That surge gave NMSU (12-5, 2-0 WAC) a 55-48 lead.
After a three-point play by USU’s Kyisean Reed, who led the blue-clad Aggies (9-8, 1-2) with 18 points and six rebounds, NMSU put together another surge. The southern Aggies went on a 15-1 run to take a 70-52 lead with 4:07 to play. The final two buckets for NMSU came on dunks, as the hosts won their fourth straight game.
"We played for about 26 (minutes), then we quit playing," Morrill said. "It turned into dunk show, just ridiculous. It’s embarrassing."
A few minutes later a 9-0 run gave the hosts their largest lead of the game, 80-58, when Wendell McKines drilled a 3-pointer with seven seconds left in the game. There was some showboating as well by the hosts.
"If that doesn’t bother anyone on this team, then I don’t know who we are," Reed said of the showboating. "It’s something to remember when they come to our house."
It was the second straight setback for USU, which had beat NMSU six of the last eight meetings before Thursday.
"We just didn’t play," Reed said. "The game is tied, we’re in it, doing a pretty good job, just didn’t play a full game. … They were not dominating us until we quit. We’ve got to be tough enough to play a full game."
Brockeith Pane joined Reed in double figures with 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting.
"We just quit in the second half," Pane said. "… We couldn’t keep those big guys off the glass and got outrebounded. We just didn’t play tough enough. I really don’t know what happened in the second half."
Coming into the game, Morrill said the key would be rebounding. USU hung close with the taller and athletic maroon Aggies while the game was close, but ended up losing that battle as well, 42-31.
"Their (NMSU) physicality just took us, we couldn’t guard them, fouled them every time," Morrill said. "We just broke down and they started dunking."
USU had 25 personal fouls in the game, and Morgan Grim and Ben Clifford fouled out.
NMSU was led by Daniel Mullings with 17 points. Five southern Aggies reached double figures as McKines (13), Tshilidzi Nephawe (12), Hamidu Rahman (11) and Hernst Laroche (10) joined Mullings. McKines grabbed a team-best 11 boards.
It didn’t take USU long to get on the scoreboard. Pane drove the length of the court for a layup after Reed blocked a McKines shot attempt.
Then it became a trading of runs and the lead. The blue-clad Aggies put together the first surge, reeling off eight unanswered points to take a 12-7 lead four-and-a-half minutes into the contest. Pane capped it with a bucket.
USU then went more than four minutes without scoring as NMSU scored six straight to take a 13-12 lead at the 12:26 mark of the opening half.
Pane ended the scoring drought for USU, hitting a 3-pointer just before the shot clock expired.
NMSU built its largest lead of the first half with a 6-0 run when Nephawe slammed one home to give the host Aggies a 25-21 lead with six minutes left before halftime.
Preston Medlin scored five straight points as USU put together a 9-2 run to take a 30-27 lead with 3:21 left in the first half.
After six lead changes and 11 ties, the two Aggies went into the break tied at 34-34.
"We didn’t attack their zone well enough," Morrill said. "We could have done that better. We were just horrendous against their zone. … We have normally been pretty good against a zone."
After making all 10 free throws in the first half, USU went 7 of 17 in the second half. The northern Aggies missed their first five foul shots of the second half, but still were hanging with NMSU.
Five minutes into the second half, USU had a 46-42 lead on a Jordan Stone layup. Two minutes later the visiting Aggies were still in the game as it was tied at 48-48. Then it all caved in on USU.
"We just laid down and played terrible," said Medlin, who had nine points on 3 of 10 shooting. "They beat us good."
Now it’s on to Louisiana Tech, who lost at home to Idaho in overtime Thursday night.