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Without Whittington, Broncos top New Mexico State 70-64

by Colin Windecker

HONOLULU, HI (WKZO) – Shortly before the Broncos’ tipped-off in their season opener against the New Mexico State Aggies on Friday night, Coach Steve Hawkins received word that his team’s leading scoring from last season would be out for the first two games of the season. Due to a ruling from the NCAA, Shayne Whittington will be forced to sit out the first two regular season games of the 2013-14 season.  The ruling was made as a result of Whittington appearing in an exhibition game during his sophomore season of 2010-11 and later redshirting that same season due to injury.

Without the first-team All-MAC Preseason pick the Broncos never trailed by more than three and led for the final 22 minutes as they upset the New Mexico State Aggies 70-64 in the first game of the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Rainbow Classic hosted by Hawaii.

Senior David Brown scored a career-high 25 points, while Kellen McCormick added 14 in not only his first ever start as a Bronco, but also his first regular season game. McCormick earned the start in place of Whittington and played 29 minutes and connected on three 3 pointers

The Broncos twice held lead a lead of 10 points but were able to hold off a late charge from the Aggies, who trimmed the lead to 65-63 with 22 seconds left and missed a 3-point attempt with 8 seconds left that would have tied the game.

Austin Richie added 10 for the Broncos, who lead 32-28 at halftime.

The Broncos will take on host Hawaii at 12:30am Sunday morning.

Game Notes: New Mexico State was ranked 4th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll…Tshilidzi Nephawe topped the scoring charts for the Aggies with 18...The aggies shot 62.5% (25-40), while attempting twice as many shots as the Broncos (16-20, 80%)…Sophomore Taylor Perry had a team-high six rebounds. Brown had five…NMSU outrebounded WMU 47-30