Madison Spence Scores 19 In Loss To Long Beach State

Written By: NMSU Athletic Dept.

LONG BEACH, CA - The New Mexico State women's basketball team made seven 3-pointers in the second half, but could not overcome a 15-point halftime deficit and fell at Long Beach State, 74-61, Monday in the Walter Pyramid.

The Aggies (4-7) came out in the second half and cut that halftime lead down to six behind 12 points from sophomore guard Madison Spence in just five minutes. However, the Aggies shot just 11-of-25 at the free-throw line and couldn't put together stops defensively as they fell to 0-5 on the road this season.

Spence finished with 19 points in the game and four assists to lead New Mexico State. Freshman Kaitlyn Soto scored a career-high 13 points playing in place of sophomore Danisha Corbett, who left the game late in the first half with an injury.

The 49ers (3-7) Whitney Fields scored 30 points on 13-of-17 shooting, as she hurt NMSU all night in the paint. Long Beach State shot 46.8 percent in the game and held the Aggies to just 36.8 percent shooting.

NMSU got 29 points from its bench Monday and saw freshman Taylor Altenburg step in during the second half to contribute with seven points. Senior center Niki Holt added nine rebounds for the second consecutive game and three blocked shots while Tabytha Wampler, one of four freshman to play in the game, had eight rebounds.

"I was really pleased with how we came out in the second half and played hard, intense basketball," head coach Darin Spence said. "We had a couple of our younger kids step up for us tonight, but it's tough when you have to play so young."

Long Beach State jumped out on top of the Aggies in the first 10 minutes of the game where they held a 20-14 lead. NMSU had five turnovers in the first part of the game and allowed the 49ers to make three of their first four 3-point attempts.

NMSU crawled back to within two points before LBSU extended its lead to nine following a Ally Wady three, the 49ers fourth to make it 27-18. Courtney Jacob's second trey and Long Beach State's fifth hopped its lead into double figures with 3:31 left in the half.

Fields took the 49ers into the locker room with a 15 point lead, as she scored six of her 13 points in the final two and a half minutes of the half. Long Beach State shot 54.8 percent in the opening period and finished 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.

The Aggies came out in the second half with some intensity and rode Spence's back as she hit three 3-pointers and added an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the 49er lead down to nine at 15:14.

Freshman forward Tabytha Wampler put in the fourth triple for the Aggies in the half at 14:41 to pull NMSU within six. But just like that Long Beach State hiked its lead up to 14 behind six more points from Fields and Jacob's third trey at 12:18.

LBSU would go back up by as many as 15, but NMSU got the 49ers into foul trouble and reached the double bonus after just nine minutes. The problem was that the Aggies were not helping themselves at the free-throw line where they were just 6-of-13 after 10 minutes in the second half.

Darin Spence inserted Altenburg into the game and the Aggies were able to tighten things up. She made her first career three at 9:18, which Soto followed with another trey and a layup to pull the Aggies back to 10 points with eight minutes to play.

The 49ers answered that run just like they did early in the second half and were able to halt New Mexico State's momentum. A three from Lauren Sims got them back that 15-point lead.

By then there wasn't much that the Aggies could do and ended up dropping their third-straight contest.

New Mexico State returns to action following Christmas, as they play in the Maggie Dixon Classic in San Diego, Calif. The Aggies face Long Island, Dec. 28, in their first of two games before New Years.