Originally created 01/20/99

New Mexico St. dominates New Mexico



LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Billy Keys scored 24 points as New Mexico State beat No. 12 New Mexico 76-55 Tuesday night, the Lobos' worst loss in the series in 40 years.

New Mexico State (12-5) won its fifth straight and snapped a seven-game losing streak in the series.

It was Lou Henson's 693rd career victory, leaving him seven shy of becoming the 13th Division I coach to reach 700.

New Mexico (16-3) had one of its worst shooting nights of the season, hitting only 34 percent from the field. Kenny Thomas had 18 points and nine rebounds, but he was the only Lobo to dent the Aggies' aggressive man-to-man pressure.

Freshman Eric Channing and Charles Gosa each scored 15 points for New Mexico State. Keys scored 19 points in the second half.

Channing and Gosa set the tempo early. Channing scored the game's first points with a 3-pointer and Gosa got loose for a dunk in first two minutes.

Three straight inside baskets by Thomas gave New Mexico its only lead of the night at 19-18 with 7:01 left in the opening half. Moments later, Channing and Mikko Noopila hit consecutive 3-pointers to snap a 22-all tie and the Aggies were on their way to their most lopsided victory over the Lobos since a 96-59 win in 1959.

The Aggies closed the first half with a 15-5 run for a 37-27 lead, and they quickly extended the margin in the second half.

New Mexico missed nine of its first 12 shots in the second half and went without a field goal for nearly six minutes. A pair of free throws by Thomas accounted for the only New Mexico points in that period, and when Keyes turned a steal into a layup with 9:38 left, New Mexico State had a 58-38 lead.