December 24, 2018 / 6:07 AM / 5 months ago

Zamora's clutch shot leads New Mexico St. over WSU

JoJo Zamora drained a 3-pointer from the right corner with 2.2 seconds left Sunday night for the last of his season-high 28 points as New Mexico State dumped Washington State 75-72 to claim third place in the Las Vegas Classic at Orleans Arena.

CJ Elleby swished a 3-ball with seven seconds remaining to lift the Cougars (7-5) into a 72-72 tie, but Zamora shook free in the corner for the game-winner that lifted the Aggies (10-3) to their second win of the month over the Pac-12 opponent. They edged the Cougars 69-63 on Dec. 1 in Las Cruces, N.M.

A.J. Harris added 15 points, and Eli Chuha contributed an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double for New Mexico State, which overcame a four-point deficit in the final 4:54 after leading by as many as 16 points during a lopsided first half.

Elleby scored a team-high 20 points for Washington State, which also got 14 from Carter Skaggs. Skaggs didn’t miss a shot all night, sinking four 3-pointers and both his free throws. The Cougars hit 10 of 23 from the 3-point line, including 6 of 12 in the second half, and turned 12 Aggies turnovers into 22 points.

New Mexico State controlled the first half, establishing a 14-6 lead before the first TV timeout when Harris converted a short jumper in the paint. The margin reached 22-10 at the 11:28 mark when Chuha rebounded a missed three and stuck it back.

Jabari Rice’s layup with 5:47 left in the half off a Shunn Buchanan pass increased the margin to 35-19. It was still 16 at 37-21 when Washington State finally made its first sustained run, a 10-2 burst capped by a 3-pointer from Skaggs with 22 seconds left to slice the deficit to eight.

But Zamora fed Ivan Aurrecoechea for a layup with four seconds remaining to restore a double-figure lead for the Aggies at 41-31 going into the half. New Mexico State hit 48.5 percent from the field and drew assists on 10 of its 16 field goals.

—Field Level Media

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