Kabongo a machine from line for Aggies


One day after setting a new free-throw shooting record at the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, New Mexico State's Christian Kabongo was racking up points from the foul line again.

Kabongo, named player of the game, went 11 of 12 from the free-throw line Saturday, part of a game-high 23 points and an 81-71 win for the Aggies (5-1) in a third-place game against San Francisco (5-3) at the Sullivan Arena.

Kabongo's 15-of-15 performance Friday set a single-game Shootout record, breaking the 12 of 12 mark shared by DePaul's Bobby Simmons in 2000 and Vanderbilt's Phil Cox in 1982.

Kabongo's feathery touch wasn't limited to the foul line Saturday. He also hit 5 of 9 field goals, which included two 3-pointers. Teammate Hernst Laroche also hit two treys as part of 12-point performance. Laroche's second 3-pointer came with 2:05 left in the game and virtually iced the game, putting the Aggies up 73-64.

The otherwise close game was tied 35-35 at halftime, and San Francisco led by as much as seven points in the second half before faltering down the stretch. San Francisco was led by Angelo Caloiaro's 22 points, and Caloiaro provided some late hope for the Dons when he drew a foul on a 3-point attempt with 1:53 remaining. He proceeded to swish all three attempts and pull the Dons to within six points.

In the end, New Mexico State's size seemed to be too much of an advantage for San Francisco to overcome. The Aggies won the rebound battle 36-22 and drew a lot of fouls in the paint. The Aggies made 30 of 38 free throws as a result, compared to 13 of 18 free throws made by San Francisco.

Anchorage Daily News