New Mexico State rallies late to down NAIA member Arizona Christian

NCAA Basketball

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Johnny McCants scored the go-ahead dunk with 45 seconds left as New Mexico State closed with a 7-0 run to defeat NAIA member Arizona Christian 83-77 on Sunday night in the Aggies’ season opener.

Arizona Christian took a 77-76 lead on De’Ron Kyle’s 3-pointer with 1:00 remaining, but McCants scored off a Jabari Rice give on the ensuing possession and blocked Kyle’s drive to the rim on ACU’s next trip down the court. Evan Gilyard was then fouled and hit both free throws with 14 seconds left to put the Aggies up 80-77.

After the Firestorm’s Angelo Johnson missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer, McCants was fouled after collecting the rebound and made the first of two free throws, then put back his miss of the second attempt for the final points.

Clayton Henry led NMSU (1-0) with 20 points and Donnie Tillman had 15 for the Aggies, who ended the shortened 2019-20 season on a 19-game winning streak.

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