Zeke Nnaji can’t miss as No. 19 Arizona routs New Mexico State

Nov 17, 2019, 2:39 PM
Arizona guard Nico Mannion (1) drives against New Mexico State guard Shunn Buchanan in the second h...
Arizona guard Nico Mannion (1) drives against New Mexico State guard Shunn Buchanan in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Zeke Nnaji did not miss a shot for the second straight game while scoring 19 points, Jemarl Baker added 16 points and No. 19 Arizona rolled over depleted New Mexico State 83-53 on Sunday.

Arizona (4-0) took advantage of the short-handed Aggies (2-2) from the start, scoring the game’s first 10 points and using another big run to lead by 22 at halftime.

The Wildcats were at their free-flowing offensive best, shooting 53%, and shut down a New Mexico State team missing three key players.

Nnaji made all seven of his shots after going 8 for 8 against San Jose State and is 32 for 38 in four games this season. The 6-foot-11 freshman has made 17 straight shots, dating to the second half of last Sunday’s game against Illinois.

Jabari Rice had 14 points to lead New Mexico State, which shot 33%.

Outside of a Dec. 14 game against No. 8 Gonzaga, Sunday’s game against the Aggies was expected to be the Wildcats’ biggest remaining test before the Pac-12 season starts.

One problem: New Mexico State came to the desert short-handed.

The Aggies were without point guard A.J. Harris (finger), guard Clayton Henry (thumb) and big man Wilfried Lakayi (knee). Terrell Brown also has been struggling with a strained hip flexor and Rice suffered a sprained left wrist against Southern on Thursday.

New Mexico State made its first shot 5:20 into the game.

The Aggies fought back with an 8-0 run, but Arizona answered with a 15-2 spurt to start the rout. The Wildcats made 18 of 31 shots to lead 43-21 at halftime.

The Aggies shot 8 of 26, had 12 turnovers and were the latest team unable to stop Nnaji, who had 15 points and made all seven of his shots in the first half.


Arizona did not get the test it expected due to New Mexico State’s injuries, but it still kept up its high level of early-season play.


Arizona hosts South Dakota State on Thursday.

Penguin Air

Arizona Basketball

Arizona Sports

Toronto Raptors take Arizona C Christian Koloko 33rd in NBA Draft

Christian Koloko gave the Wildcats three draft picks in the first 33 selections of the NBA Draft, as the Raptors plucked him off the board.
6 days ago
Dalen Terry #4 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts after hitting a a 3-pointer against the UCLA Bruins d...
Arizona Sports

Arizona basketball’s Dalen Terry drafted 18th by Bulls

Dalen Terry became the second Arizona Wildcats draftee to ship off to the midwest, heading to the Chicago Bulls.
6 days ago
Guard Bennedict Mathurin #0 of the Arizona Wildcats smiles on the sidelines during the game against...
Arizona Sports

Former Wildcat Bennedict Mathurin picked 6th by Indiana Pacers

Former Arizona Wildcat Bennedict Mathurin was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the sixth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
6 days ago
Bennedict Mathurin #0 of the Arizona Wildcats stands on the court during a game against the Wichita...
Arizona Sports

Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin cementing in top-10 of NBA mock drafts

Arizona's Bennedict Mathurin was mocked to the Pacers at No. 6 by both ESPN's Jonathan Givony and The Athletic's NBA staff Thursday morning.
6 days ago
Nikash Nath

Bennedict Mathurin rising in ESPN NBA mock a week out from draft

Former Arizona Wildcat Bennedict Mathurin is quietly approaching the top five of Jonathan Givony's latest NBA mock draft. 
11 days ago
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, left, talks with players during the fourth quarter of ...
Associated Press

Wildcat, former Suns GM Steve Kerr wins his 9th NBA ring

Any team that can claim to be a dynasty across the last 30 years of the NBA has some link to Golden State’s coach.
12 days ago
Zeke Nnaji can’t miss as No. 19 Arizona routs New Mexico State