LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Zach Lofton scored 25 points, Jemerrio Jones had 19 points and 19 rebounds and New Mexico pulled away in the second half for an 81-55 win over Division II East Central in the season-opener on Friday night.
Lofton went 8-of-12 from the field with six rebounds and three steals. Jones matched his career-high in rebounding from his junior college days. Ohio State transfer AJ Harris contributed 12 points and six assists for the Aggies.
Jones and Lofton combined for 23 points in the second half as the Aggies outscored East Central 50-30. The first half was a different story as New Mexico State started 4-of-24 shooting and didn’t take the lead for good until scoring the last six points of the first half for a 31-25 lead. The Aggies stretched the lead to 15 by scoring the first fight points of the second half and led by double figures the rest of the way.
After shooting 32.5 percent (13 of 40), including 1 of 16 behind the arc, in the first half, the Aggies made 5 of 11 from distance and shot 56 percent (20 of 36) after halftime.
Jamey Woods led the Tigers with 14 points.