"It was a good game for us because we were able to get some guys experience," NMSU coach Lou Henson said. "We played pretty well. Gary Jackson and Kelsey Crooks gave us some good minutes. But they (Colorado-Colorado Springs) gave a great effort. They really shot the ball well."
James Fontenet added 12 points for the Ags, while Brandon Mason and Jackson added 10 each. Crooks had nine points, eight boards and four steals off the bench.
The Lions were still within striking distance early in the second half after Dustin Kelver scored on a layin to cut the Aggie lead to 51-41.
But NMSU quickly responded with a 12-2 run to go up 63-43. Fontenet scored five points and Jackson scored four to lead the way.
The Aggies led by as much as 23 on two occasions in the second half.
"We were able to work on some things and I thought we did some good things out there," said Mason, who also added a team-high six assists. "This game was good for us because we won't have so much time off from last Saturday's game and this Saturday's game against Louisiana."
The first half was marked by some sharpshooting by the visitors and a pair of runs by the Aggies.
NMSU went on runs of 9-0 and 12-0 to take a 45-33 lead at the break.
The Lions hung tough behind the shooting of Kelver, who hit 3 of 8 from 3-point range, while LaErrol Martin scored 11 on a 5-of-6 shooting performance. CU-Colorado Springs cut the lead to 29-26 on a Martin layin before NMSU went on its big run.
"They worked hard and did a lot of good things on offense," Henson said.
Kelver led all scorers on the night with 22, including a 6-of-14 showing from beyond the 3-point arc.
"We got mixed up on some screens and he had some good looks at the basket," said Haynes of Kelver. "He hit some tough shots as well."
The Aggies are back in action Saturday night at home against Louisiana. The Ragin' Cajuns, which lead the Sun Belt Western Division, beat NMSU 81-74 back on Jan. 2 in Lafayette.
"In that game, we played okay, but not as good as we could have," Moore said. "We had a lot of foolish turnovers and we'll have to cut those out this time."
Notes: Aggie junior forward James Felder is out for the season. He injured his right knee against Western Kentucky back on Jan. 25 and originally was out four weeks due to torn cartilage. However, he had surgery to repair his medial meniscus...Freshman point guard Earl Calloway got his first start of the season in place of Jason Fontenet, who was benched due to missing a team meeting according to Henson...NMSU is now 2-0 on Monday's this year...Monday's 89 points scored were the second most for NMSU this season.