NM State Takes Down North Dakota State 71-65

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

Jasmine LoweLAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women's basketball team used gritty defense in the second half, holding North Dakota State to just 30 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes, to secure a 71-65 come-from-behind win at the Pan American Center Saturday evening.

The Aggies improve to 5-3 on the season and 4-2 at home; North Dakota State falls to 5-4 with the loss.

With the win NM State head women's basketball coach became the second-winningest coach in school history. Spence passed Mike Petersen (81 wins from 1992-96) on the all-time list with his 82nd win in his 188th game as head coach, spanning seven years at the helm in Las Cruces. Spence also closes in on the 400-win mark with his 399th career win. He will go for number 400 against UTEP at home on Tuesday night.

"That was a great win for us," Spence said. "Coming off of a 10-day break and playing a veteran team like that who has played two games in the past week - that's a huge win for us, bigger than some might imagine."

Jasmine Lowe led four Aggies in double figures with 19 points. Madison Spence poured in 13 from the floor playing the final seven minutes with four fouls. Guard Crystal Boyd added 12, scoring 10 in the second half while Kaitlyn Soto dropped in 10 off the bench.

The Aggies used an 11-4 run over a five-minute span in the second half to take over the lead 50-49 for the first time since the 14:24 mark of the first half. NM State never relinquished the lead, extending it out over the final minutes to garner its biggest lead of the game at the buzzer.

NM State tied their season high in steals with 16, forcing their opponent into more than 20 turnovers for the fourth time this season. The Aggies went cold from beyond the arc missing all eight 3-point shots, but used 22 points off turnovers including eight points on the fast break to make up for it on the floor.

Early in the first half, the score was tied at 8-8 at the first media timeout as Danisha Corbett sparked the Aggies with six of the team's first eight points. After a bucket by Soto out of the break, the Bison went on an 8-0 run behind two 3-point baskets to take a 16-10 advantage. NM State's Tabytha Wampler scored seven of the next 11 points for NM State in the paint but the Bison extended their lead to 24-14 behind a 6-0 run between Wampler buckets.

North Dakota State achieved its largest lead of 11 at 36-25 with 4:44 remaining. The Aggies countered with an 11-3 run to close out the half to cut the lead to 39-35 going into the locker rooms.

NDSU shot 54 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes while knocking down four of eight from behind the 3-point arc. The Bison out-rebounded the Aggies 20-10 but turned over the ball 14 times in the half. NM State scored 14 points off turnovers including six on the fast break as a result of nine first-half steals. Each team spread the wealth on the floor as eight players scored on each side.

Junior forward Ashley Samuelson led the Bison with 14 points and Jill Zaruba added 12, including eight of 10 from the free throw line.

The Aggies host UTEP on Tues. Dec. 15 at the Pan American Center at 7:05 p.m. MT.