Saint Mary’s downs New Mexico State 73-58 behind Ford, Fitts

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Jordan Ford scored 28 points with five assists and Saint Mary’s held off New Mexico State 73-58 on Wednesday night to win its third straight.

South Florida transfer Malik Fitts added 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds in his second game for the Gaels (3-0). Saint Mary’s shot 48 percent to the Aggies‘ 36 and got 30 points from its bench.

Trailing by 18 in the second half, the Aggies rallied on a 10-2 run and closed to 55-48 on Ivan Aurrecoechea’s free throw, then to 64-56 on AJ Harris‘ driving layup with 1:23 left. Ford hit six free throws down the stretch and Fitts sank a 3 with 18 seconds left to seal the win.

Jordan Hunter’s layup broke open a back-and-forth game and put the Gaels up for good, 19-18, and they led 32-23 at halftime after holding the Aggies to 34.6 percent shooting.

Harris scored 17 points and Aurrecoechea added 12 for the Aggies (2-1).