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Toreros stun Aggies 65-60 behind 23 points from Isaiah Pineiro
Dec. 6, 2017

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LAS CRUCES, NM – Behind 23 points from junior forward Isaiah Pineiro, the Toreros stunned the New Mexico State Aggies 65-60 before 3,798 fans at the Pan American Center. Isaiah Wright buried four treys to finish with 17 points and Tyler Williams scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half as he was a perfect 3-for-3 beyond the arc. It marked the Aggies first loss this season in six games and just their second loss over their last 23 games here.

“Coach Jans does a great job here and they have a great fan base and great tradition,” said head coach Lamont Smith. “Hats off to our club. Getting punched in the nose the last two outings and coming here and being resilient and executing a great game plan by Coach Rencher. And Tyler Williams was great down the stretch. He gave us some calm. Tonight was a total team effort.”

In the first half the Toreros held an early 9-8 lead through six minutes of action on the strength of three-pointers from Isaiah Pineiro, Juwan Gray and Isaiah Wright. Through the first 12 minutes it was a defensive battle with the score 12-12. Tyler Williams buried a three ball at the 8:16 mark to push it to 15-12, but the Aggies answered with a 7-0 run and 19-15 advantage. Back-to-back buckets by Pineiro and Wright (a three-pointer) gave USD the lead back at 20-19. Two straight baskets from Pineiro made it 24-23 Toreros. A Carter trey, the team’s sixth of the half, knotted the score at 29-all with 1:22 to go. That score would hold heading into the break with Pineiro leading the way with 12 points and 5 rebounds.

After the break Olin Carter opened the scoring with a nice jumper from the right elbow. With 16 minutes left Wright buried a three from the right wing to tie the score at 38-all. A three from the top by Pineiro and five straight points from Wright for an 8-0 run made it 46-40 Toreros with 13:51 to go. The Aggies answered with a 5-0 run before Tyler Williams buried a three from the left wing to push USD’s lead to 49-45. A long three in front of the Torero bench by Wright gave USD its biggest lead at 52-45 with 10:58 left.

A steal and lay-in followed by a free throw from NMSU’s AJ Harris knotted the score at 56-all with 4:23 to. Tyler Williams connected on his third three-ball, this time from the right corner, to make it 59-56. Williams then hit a key jumper just outside the key to make it 61-56, but Sidy N’Dir answered to pull the Aggies within 61-58. A rebound bucket from Eli Chuha made it 61-60 with 28 seconds. USD’s Pineiro was fouled with 19 ticks and made both free throws to push it to 63-60. With 12 seconds, Harris missed two free throws and Williams was fouled on the rebound with 10 seconds left. He calmly cashed in on both for a 65-60 lead and his steal in the closing seconds sealed the victory.

For the game the Toreros made 22 of 46 shots from the field (478%) and a solid 11 of 27 from beyond the arce (40.7%). More importantly the Toreros converted 10 of 12 free throws to help hold off the Aggies. NMSU (6-2) was paced by Sidy N’Dir with 16 points.

The Toreros (6-2) return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion this Saturday, December 9th, for a 7:00 p.m. contest against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. The game will be televised by Fox Sports San Diego and will be broadcast on ESPN 1700AM with Jack Cronin on the call.

 

 

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