RUSTON, La. — Wendell McKines scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as New Mexico State took control early in an 83-73 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday night in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
McKines, who shot 9 of 13 from the field, posted his ninth double-double of the season as the Aggies (11-5) won their third straight game and sixth in their last seven.
The Bulldogs took their only lead at 4-2 with 18:31 to go. After four ties, New Mexico State built a nine-point first-half lead.
Louisiana Tech opened the second half with a Brandon Gibson layup to make it 40-36, then the Aggies used a 6-0 run to pull away.
Tyrone Watson and Hernst Laroche added 14 apiece for New Mexico State, which hit its first nine attempts from the field in the second half and shot 57 percent for the game.
Raheem Appleby scored 19 to lead the Bulldogs (8-8), who have lost three of their last four. Louisiana Tech had a 44-42 rebounding advantage.