LAS CRUCES, N.M. (NDSU Athletics) -- Sophomore forward Rocky Kreuser poured in a career-high 23 points for the North Dakota State University men’s basketball team, but the Bison lost 73-56 at New Mexico State in the season opener Tuesday night.
Kreuser shot 9-of-11 for the game, including 5-for-6 from beyond the arc. He also led the Bison with five rebounds in the game.
New Mexico State raced out to an 18-3 lead with 12:35 left in the first half. The Aggies went up by as many as 18 points before halftime, using a 23-14 rebounding advantage to stretch the margin.
The Bison trailed 36-20 at halftime and 50-34 with just under 14 minutes remaining.
Kreuser, Vinnie Shahid and Sam Griesel all made their first career starts for the Bison. Tyree Eady, Jordan Horn and Jarius Cook all saw their first regular season action in an NDSU uniform. Eady scored nine points.
Following the 18-3 deficit to open the game, the Bison played to a score of 55-53 the rest of the way.
New Mexico State is the defending WAC champion and the preseason favorite to win the league again this year.
The Bison return home to host UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at 1 p.m.