Utah Tech men’s basketball team defeats New Mexico state for coach Jon Judkins’ 600th career win – St George News


Utah Tech’s Noe Gonsalves shoots a jump shot against New Mexico State, St. George, Utah, Jan. 21, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Stan Plewe/Utah Tech Athletics, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Utah Tech University men’s basketball team defeated New Mexico State 89-76 at Burns Arena Saturday night as head coach Jon Judkins celebrated his 600th career win.

Utah Tech head coach Jon Judkins watches from the sidelines as his team play New Mexico State, St. George, Utah, January 21, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Stan Plewe/Utah Tech Athletics, St. George News

Thanks in part to a career-high 24 points from Noa Gonsalves, Utah Tech snatched a five-game loss at the Western Athletic Conference with the win, which also gave Judkins his 600th career win in 902 games as head coach (600-302). . Also, he’s now four wins short of 300 NCAA-era head coaching wins at Utah Tech/Dixie State (296-162).

Utah Tech (10-10 overall, 2-5 in WAC play) started the game with nine of its first 13 shots to open a 24-13 lead after nearly nine minutes. Nine of the points went to Gonsalves in the early stages, while Cameron Gooden, who had missed the previous five games through injury, converted a conventional 3-point game in his first game action of the 2023 calendar year.

NM State (7-13, 0-8 WAC) would erase the deficit and eventually make it a two-possession game after a Kyle Feit 3-pointer pulled the Aggies down to six on six at 35-29 with 5:08 had in the period.

The Trailblazers would counter with two Isaiah Pope Treys as part of an 11-2 run that extended the UT lead to 15, 46-31, and UT would enjoy a 46-36 lead at halftime.

Gonsalves and Pop’s guardline combined for 31 of UT’s 46 points in the opening frame. Pope scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting while Gonsalves knocked down three 3-pointers on his way to 14 first-half points.

Gonsalves picked up right where he left off as he hit two quick 3-pointers to open the second half, while Frank Staine came on with a three from the wing to give the Blazers a 17-55 lead -40 to remove: 03 left.

Then, after an Aggie Trey and two Gonsalves free throws, Gooden knocked down three 3-pointers including consecutive long-distance jumpers that gave Utah Tech a comfortable 66-45 cushion with a 12:39.

Utah Tech maintained its double-digit lead the rest of the way to give the Aggies their eighth straight loss.

Gonsalves hit a career high with five 3-pointers (5-of-9 3FG) scored as the runner-up went 7-of-12 off the floor. He also went 5-of-5 at the foul line, finishing with four rebounds and three assists.

Promotional image for Jon Judkins weekly radio show on The Fan Sports Radio 99.5 FM, St. George, Utah | Image courtesy of The Fan Sports, St George News

Meanwhile, Pope finished the race with 23 points, two points off his career high of 25 set three nights earlier at the Grand Canyon. Pope was 7 of 14 from the field and 7 of 9 at the line while dishing out a career-best eight assists with five boards.

Gooden shone on his return, scoring 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three 3-pointers in 20 minutes off the bench.

Utah Tech shot a steady 52.0 percent (26 of 50) on the night, including a steady 44.0 percent clip (11 of 25) from perimeter. UT also went off the line 26-of-36 (.722), rebounding NM State 38-34.

Saturday’s win over NM State was Utah Tech’s first win in five games against the Aggies. If the two sides don’t meet at the WAC tournament in March, the game could be the last time they meet as conference enemies as NM State is set to join Conference USA next season.

Anthony Roy led four Aggies in double digits with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. NM State shot 44.3 percent (27 of 61) from the ground and 34.8 percent (8 of 23) from beyond the arc on the night.

Utah Tech will make the first of two trips to Texas next week for WAC games at Tarleton State on Thursday, January 26th and Abilene Christian on Saturday, January 28th.

Written by Utah Tech University Athletics Media Relations.

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