New Mexico St routs La Tech 82-57 for WAC title |

New Mexico St routs La Tech 82-57 for WAC title

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Wendell McKines scored 27 and grabbed 14 rebounds, and New Mexico State claimed its third Western Athletic Conference tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a dominant 82-57 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday night.

The Aggies will make their 19th NCAA tournament appearance and second under coach Marvin Menzies to go along with winning the conference tournament in 2010. The Aggies will enter the NCAA tournament having won nine of 10 games.

For the second straight game, the Aggies built a double-digit lead within the opening minutes. But unlike its narrow semifinal win over Hawaii, New Mexico State never let Louisiana Tech back in. After the Aggies took a 14-4 lead, the Bulldogs trimmed the deficit into single digits only once.

Trevor Gaskins led Louisiana Tech (18-16) with 24 points, but the Bulldogs shot just 33 percent and made 3 of 18 3-pointers.