CORRECTS TO NEW MEXICO STATE – New Mexico State’s Tyrone Watson (45) jumps to block a shot by Louisiana Tech’s Kenyon McNeail (21) during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, in Ruston, La. (AP Photo/The News-Star, Arely D. Castillo) NO SALES
RUSTON, La. (AP) — 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.
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.