'Bows routed on road
The road to nowhere continued for the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team.
The Rainbow Warriors were undermanned and overmatched in an 88-64 loss to New Mexico State yesterday at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M.
The Aggies led from start to finish, and the outcome was never in doubt.
"We just turned the ball over way too many times," Hawai'i head coach Bob Nash said. "Eighteen turnovers is way too many against a good team like New Mexico State."
It was the latest loss in a series of losing streaks for the 'Bows.
Hawai'i dropped to 9-16 overall and 2-10 in the Western Athletic Conference with its seventh consecutive loss.
The 'Bows are 0-7 on the road this season, and 0-5 all-time against the Aggies in the Pan American Center.
Hawai'i is now in a tie with Boise State at the bottom of the WAC standings. The last-place team at the end of the regular season will not qualify for the WAC Tournament.
Hawai'i and Boise State each have four WAC games remaining, including a matchup against each other March 4 in Boise, Idaho.
Roderick Flemings matched his season-high with 25 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. He shot 8 of 21 from the field, including 1 of 7 from 3-point range.
"Rod had a good night. He was just trying to do what he can to get us some points on the board," Nash said. "When you're down and you're scrambling, you don't tell a guy not to shoot."
Adhar Mayen added 11 points and Brandon Adams scored 10 for the 'Bows, who shot 39 percent from the field and 17.6 percent (3 of 17) from 3-point range.
Reserve forward Ji Xiang had his best game in a Hawai'i uniform, finishing with nine points and seven rebounds as he got extended playing time in the blowout.
It was hardly enough against a New Mexico State team that was hitting from all angles.
The Aggies shot 51.7 percent from the field, including 11-of-27 shooting (40.7 percent) from 3-point range. The 11 3s matched the most by a Hawai'i opponent this season, and it was only the second time this season that the 'Bows surrendered more than 85 points.
New Mexico State also scored 28 points off the 18 Hawai'i turnovers, and won the rebounding battle, 39-36.
The Aggies closed the first half with a 14-6 run to take a 42-27 lead at intermission, and it only got worse for Hawai'i after that. The Aggies opened the second half with a 9-0 to increase the lead to an insurmountable 51-27.
"We didn't have enough in the tank to recover from that," Nash said. "From that point on, we played very tentative."
New Mexico State led by as many as 29 points, and Hawai'i never got closer than 22 in the game's final 15 minutes.
All 11 available Hawai'i players saw action, including three walk-ons.
"We can't worry about what's going on with (Hawai'i)," New Mexico State head coach Marvin Menzies said. "But I feel sorry for Bob (Nash), a situation like that dealing with injuries and stuff. I'm glad we got the win."
New Mexico State improved to 16-9 and moved into second place in the WAC at 9-3 with its second victory over Hawai'i this season.
Jahmar Young, Jonathan Gibson and Troy Gillenwater scored 18 points each to lead the balanced Aggies attack.
The 'Bows will begin their final homestand Saturday when they host Cal Poly in a non-conference game. Hawai'i will close the home season next week by hosting Utah State and Nevada.