LAS CRUCES, N.M. - University of Denver junior forward Chris Udofia (Irving, Texas) scored nine points and tied a career high with six blocked shots, but New Mexico State prevailed 53-42 in the Pan American Center on Wednesday night, snapping DU's seven-game winning streak.
Denver (11-8, 7-2 WAC) also received nine points each from freshman Jalen Love (Wichita, Kan.) and sophomore Royce O'Neale (Killeen, Texas), who added a game-high 10 rebounds. However, Denver committed 15 turnovers and were outrebounded 41-24, allowing the Aggies (13-8, 6-3 WAC) 14 points off turnovers and 14 second-chance points.
"Our defense was more than good enough, but we turned the ball over too much," head coach Joe Scott said. "We lacked rhythm offensively, which led to a poor shooting night. Give New Mexico State credit for playing good defense. They're a good team, and they're playing well right now."
The Pioneers shot 40.9 percent (18-of-44) from the field but only 16.7 percent (3-of-18) from three-point range. New Mexico State, which extended its winning streak to seven-games, was 19-of-52 (36.5 percent) from the field and 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc.
The loss drops Denver into a second-place tie with New Mexico State, two games behind WAC leader Louisiana Tech.
O'Neale hit DU's first three-pointer of the game with 14:15 remaining to pull the Pioneers within five points at 34-29, but the Aggies pulled away with a 13-1 run over the following nine minutes.
After turning the ball over only eight times in the previous two games combined, Denver committed eight turnovers in the first half, and New Mexico State scored 12 points off them to take a 29-22 lead into the half. DU, which entered the game leading the WAC in three-pointers, went 0-for-8 from beyond the arc, while the Aggies went 3-for-7 after entering the game making only 3.6 three-pointers per game.
New Mexico State's Tyrone Watson led all scorers with 12 points.
Denver enjoys a week off before returning to the road to take on Texas-San Antonio on Jan. 31 and Texas State on Feb. 2
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