Las Vegas, NV (SportsNetwork.com) - Daniel Mullings tallied 21 points on 9- of-16 shooting from the floor as the New Mexico State Aggies defeated the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners, 69-63, in the semifinal round of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at Orleans Arena.
DK Eldridge netted 17 points for second-seeded New Mexico State (25-9), which will move on to Saturday's WAC Tournament championship game to face the fifth- seeded Idaho Vandals. Tshilidzi Nephawe pulled down a team-high nine rebounds in the win.
Issiah Grayson scored a game-high 33 points for CS Bakersfield (13-19), adding six rebounds to his stat line. Brandon Barnes chipped in 11 points with five rebounds in the loss.
Bakersfield shot 46.9 percent from the floor in the first half, hitting 4- of-10 from 3-point range, and took a 35-26 lead into the midway break. New Mexico State shot just 33.3 percent from the floor in the frame, connecting on 2-of-5 from deep.
But the second half is when the Aggies came alive. New Mexico State hit an astounding 73.9 percent of its shots attempts in the period, and buried 6- of-10 from the free-throw line, to battle back for the lead. The Roadrunners hit an even 40 percent of their field goal tries, including 4-of-11 from 3- point distance, but it wasn't enough to maintain the lead.
New Mexico State had the edge from the free-throw line, 14-5, and won the battle in points off turnovers, 16-7. Bakersfield slightly outscored the Aggies from beyond the arc, 24-15.