take a verbal beating in USU's first home loss of season
GAME: Cass Matheus gets hammered while screening
for Jaycee Carroll. / Photo by Robert McDaniel
By G. Christopher Terry
February 14, 2006 | A sold-out Spectrum crowd
could hardly believe it. It looked as if the scoreboard
was acting up: 83-77, in favor of the visiting
New Mexico State Aggies.
"I think we just allowed ourselves to relax
a little bit," said Nate Harris, who had 18 points,
five assists, three blocks and three steals in
38 minutes. "Maybe we thought coming into our
own place that they would just kind of come to
us, and that's a terrible mindset."
The Quotable Stew Morrill
"I don't know if it was our inability to guard
or them playing awfully well against us but we
sure have a hard time getting stops."
"For whatever reason, we can't get stops against
them and you guys can see some of the reasons;
they're very very quick, very fast and we have
a hard time blocking them off because of their
"You can analyze it to death whether we you
know one game in practice...they beat us. They
beat us. They played well. We didn't get stops.
We couldn't rebound. It's as simple as that. Sometimes
you want to make it more complicated than it is
and it's we couldn't stop them and we couldn't
block them off. And that's really what it boiled
No one who watched the game could fail to notice the
Spectrum crowd's churlish conduct toward the referees,
and even USU Coach Stew Morrill called the officiating
The zebras were booed as they left the court at halftime
and, in a game in which both sides made 30 field goals
and 12 three-pointers and the 14-8 edge for NMSU in
free throws attempted appeared to be the difference,
perhaps they deserved it.
Durrall Peterson led the Aggies in scoring with 21
points and in rebounding with seven, but only one other
Aggie scored in double figures, Jaycee Carroll with
Peterson didn't seem too upbeat about his performance,
saying, "This game's erased now. You can never have
a good game and a loss."
NMSU was led by its pair of speedy guards, Mike Mitchell
and Elijah Ingram, who poured in 47 combined points
and gave the Aggies fits.
"They made a lot of shots at the end of the
clock; they made a lot of deep threes," Morrill
said in his first press conference after a home
loss this season.
Ingram hit 6 of 10 from long range while Mitchell
was 5 of 7, helping Reggie Theus' club to a 57.1
percent three-point shooting night.
The Aggies average 36.7 percent on the season.
WORDS: NMSU Coach Reggie Theus, center,
shouts instructions. / Photo by Robert McDaniel
Rebounding was another area where NMSU edged Utah State,
Harris said, "Rebounds definitely show the aggressor
team. Offensive rebounds more than anything else. They
were the aggressors and it showed on the stats."
Morrill said the Aggies will find out what they're
made of now.
They will travel north to WAC cellar-dwelling Idaho
(1-9) Wednesday night, then are back in the Spec Saturday
in an ESPN bracket-buster game against Northwestern
"There are only two ways to go: up or down, so we
can't let it ruin our season. Coach always says set
your jaw and find a way to get it done," Harris said.
Nate Harris goes to the floor after contact. /
Photo by Robert McDaniel