Aggies Fall To Louisiana Tech 62-55

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State sophomore forward Tabytha Wampler posted her first career double-double with a career high 18 points and 10 boards in the Aggies' 62-55 loss to Louisiana Tech at the Pan American Center Wednesday evening.

Wampler scored the first eight points of the game for NM State who fall to 16-10 overall and 6-6 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Louisiana Tech improves to 17-6 this season with an 8-3 WAC record. The Lady Techsters have won five straight in the series after sweeping the regular season matchups with the Aggies this year.

Wampler led the team in the scorebook. Junior guard Madison Spence added a dozen points and senior guard Crystal Boyd was a force on the boards pulling down 14 rebounds to go along with six points.

NM State struggled to find its offensive rhythm throughout the game shooting just 27 percent (20-of-74) from the field but kept the margin close with LA Tech who shot just slightly better at 36.4 percent (24-of-66). The Lady Techsters edged the Aggies on the boards 54-50 but dominated the paint outscoring the home team 26-16.

Louisiana Tech scored first on a free throw by Jasmine Bendolph in the first minute. Wampler then scored the game's next six points to give the Aggies a 6-1 lead.

The Lady Techsters rallied for a 12-0 run over the next 8:16 of game time to lead 13-6. Ironically, the Aggies also suffered a similar drought at Ruston on Jan. 16 going scoreless over a 9:35 stretch in the first half in the Thomas Assembly Center.

Wampler stopped the rally with a bucket at the 9:05 mark to trim the LA Tech lead to 13-8. Boyd joined Wampler on the scoreboard at the 6:47 mark to get NM State within three. A pair of free throws by Lady Techster guard Brietta Thomas and a bucket by forward Shanavia Dowdell extended the lead to 17-10.

Minutes later NM State finished the half on a 9-4 run over the final three minutes in the half. A jumper by freshman forward Malia Magazzeni and a layup by Spence cut the LA Tech advantage to three at 19-16. The Lady Techsters scored four straight with just over a minute left in the half to stretch the lead to 23-16. The Aggies finished off their run with a pair of free throws by junior Danisha Corbett and a trey from Jasmine Lowe just before the halftime buzzer.

Lowe's three was the first of the half for either team and first points for the guard in the game. The Lady Techsters held a 23-21 advantage at the half.

In the first 20 minutes, the Aggies shot a dismal 24.7 percent (9-of-37) including 1-of-11 shooting from long range. LA Tech shot slightly better at a 30.3 percent clip (10-of-33) but missed all four attempts from beyond the arc. Boyd crashed the boards in the first half totaling a dozen to help NM State lead the rebounding margin 29-25 at the half. Wampler and LA Tech forward Adrienne Johnson led all scorers with eight points apiece.

Wampler opened the second half like the first, scoring the Aggies' first four points after the break to help NM State knot the score at 25. But the Aggies could not take away the lead from LA Tech. Four points by LA Tech's Kiara Young put the visitors up by four to keep the Aggies at bay.

Spence helped NM State close to within one a minute later at 29-28. But LA Tech upped their offensive intensity over the next nine minutes of the second half behind points in the paint scored by Johnson and Dowdell to fuel a 23-9 run to build the Lady Techsters' largest lead of the game at 52-37 with 6:45 remaining.

The Aggies charged back over the next five minutes to close to within four after a 15-4 run. LA Tech called a timeout with 1:20 left and the four-point lead. On the Aggies' next possession, Lowe was whistled for a charge with 31 seconds left in regulation, turning the ball over to the Lady Techsters. LA Tech maintained its lead from the foul line in the final seconds to secure the road win.

Johnson and Dowdell both notched double-doubles in the game. Johnson finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Dowdell posted 14 tallies and 15 caroms.

New Mexico State treks to Idaho this weekend for its next game on Saturday, Feb. 20 with a scheduled tip at 4:00 p.m. MT.

A live broadcast of the game can be heard across the state on the Aggie Sports Radio Network with Kyle Doperalski on KSNM-AM 570.