The New Mexico State women's basketball team is back in action this evening after defeating 9-seed UT Arlington in the play-in round of the 2013 WAC Tournament. The Aggie women were in a nip and tuck battle with the Mavs before going on a 23-4 run midway through the second half to seize control of the game. Senior Kelsie Rozendaal had career-highs in points (23) and rebounds (17) and was a huge catalyst in the Aggie victory. Rozendaal will need to duplicate that effort tonight as well as get some help from her teammates when they face top seed Seattle. The Aggies lost both games in the regular season against the Redhawks falling by six in Las Cruces and by 18 in Seattle, though that game the Aggies trailed by over 20 points and cut it to eight in the second half before losing by 18. The losses to Seattle bookended the Aggies' nine-game conference losing streak but since then the Aggies have won six of their last seven games and are one of the hottest teams in the WAC.
The key tonight for the Aggies if they are to win is to find a way to neutralize WAC Player of the Year Kacie Sowell. The Seattle post had her way with the Aggies in both meetings finishing with a combined 38 points and 23 rebounds and shot 17-of-24 from the field against the Aggies in the two games.
Stefanie Gilbreath and Danesia Williamson both had pretty good regular season games against Seattle and will need to duplicate those efforts as well. The Aggies also need to make three point shots but also not attempt too many. The Aggies shot 18 in the first contest and a whopping 36 in the second. In yesterday's win the Aggies attempted 21 three point shots in the first half and yet led by just two points. In the second half the Aggies got the ball inside to Rozendaal and attempted just five more three pointers and won going away.
Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (MDT) tip-off and can be heard on KGRT FM 103.9 in Las Cruces with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required).