Late Run by New Mexico State Has Bears on the Ropes in Las Cruces at the Break
Forward - Gavin Thurman
Forward - Gavin Thurman

Dec. 22, 2012

LAS cRUCES, N.M. -- A 10-0 by New Mexico State to end the first half has the Missouri State Bears trailing the Aggies 34-23 at the intermission at the Pan American Center here in non-conference play.

The Bears stormed out of the gates with the game's first four points as Anthony Downing and Christian Kirk scored with quick transition layups. The Bears extended their advantage to 10-5 after the under-16 media timeout with a short jumper by Gavin Thurman and seemed to have their WAC opponent on the ropes.

However, NMSU reeled off the game's next nine points in a span of just two-and-a-half minutes to take a 14-10 advantage. The Bears got back within one on a 3-pointer by Michael Simpson on their next possession and kept the deficit there after a pair of Kirk free throws three minutes later.

Five quick points by by Matej Buovac came out of nowhere for the Aggies who pushed ahead 21-15 af the under-eight media break.  MSU came back with another jumper by Thurman and a pair of chairty shots by Downing to trim their deficit to 21-19 before another trey by Buovac gave NMSU a 24-19 lead with just under six-and-a-half to go in the opening period.

Kirk got the Bears closer with a laser-sharp 17-footer and a pair of free throws by Downing that made it a one-point game with 5:27 to go in the stanza. But New Mexico State closed out the half on a 10-0 run that included a dunk by seven-foot-five Sim Bhullar.

NMSU is 14-for-28 (.500) from the field in the first half, 4-of-9 (.444) from bonus distance and 2-of-4 (.500) at the line. The Aggies have out-rebounded the Bears 19-13, but have just three offensive caroms to go with 9 turnovers. Buovac has 8 points for NMSU, while Bhullar has 7.

The Bears have 8 points from Kirk and 6 from Downing in the first 20 minutes. The Bears are 8-for-24 (.333) from the field, 1-for-3 (.333) from long range and 6-of-7 (.857) at the line. MSU has an uncharacteristic 8 turnovers in the early going.



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