It was a big early season matchup against Region V foe New Mexico at the Joe White Classic, a good time to see where the young Highlanders stand.

Javen hedgeman led with 23 points as the Highlanders erased a six-point halftime deficit to cut it to three late, but New Mexico held off MCC, 79-74.

Trailing by two possessions at the half, the Highlanders went toe-to-toe with the Thunderbirds in the second. MCC actually grabbed the lead with just over eight minutes to play on a Hedgeman three-pointer, but couldn’t sustain the rally.

Freshman Xavier Armstead finished with 20 points.

The Highlanders will face the DFW Ballhogs tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Hill College in Hillsboro.

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