NM State Falls 84-61 To Arizona State In WNIT

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

TEMPE, AZ - The New Mexico State women's basketball team's fourth postseason run in school history came to a close Wednesday night after an 84-61 loss at Arizona State in the first round of the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) inside Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz.

NM State junior guard Jasmine Lowe led NM State with 20 points while classmate Danisha Corbett posted 12. Senior Crystal Boyd scored nine points and posted two steals and a pair of rebounds in her final game as an Aggie.

Arizona State used full court pressure the majority of the game against the Aggies to help force 22 Aggie turnovers leading to 29 Sun Devil points. ASU's size in the post led the home team to the line 39 times where the Sun Devils drained 28 of those attempts. NM State made six of only eight attempts at the charity stripe. ASU finished with a 38-18 advantage in the paint and 46-16 margin in bench points.

NM State finishes the 2009-10 campaign with an 18-14 overall record. Arizona State improves to 18-13 on the year and will face the winner of Pepperdine and Brigham Young in the WNIT second round.

After a scoreless 90 seconds, Arizona State got on the scoreboard first with a bucket by freshman forward Janae Fulcher. Lowe answered for the Aggies with a short jumper to tie it early. Fulcher converted a three-point play to give ASU a 5-2 lead. NM State sophomore forward Tabytha Wampler added two for the Aggies to cut it to one.

The Sun Devils strung together a 10-2 run over the next four minutes to extend the lead to 15-6. Shortly after, NM State answered with an 8-3 run to close to within three at 20-17 with just over nine minutes to go in the half.

NM State's offense went cold after the halfway point of the first half, allowing ASU to put together a 15-5 run over the next five minutes to increase its advantage to 35-22 with 3:23 left before the break. Lowe tried to keep the Aggie close with six of NM State's final 10 points of the half. ASU closed with an 8-3 rally late in the first to lead at 45-29 at the half.

Arizona State out-rebounded NM State 23-13 in the opening stanza. The rebounding advantage allowed a 12-0 ASU advantage in second chance points and a 22-6 margin in the paint. The Sun Devil bench dominated the half, posting 31 points to five for the Aggies. Both squads shot above 40 percent in the half as ASU shot 45.9 percent (17-of-37) and NM State made 42.3 percent (11-of-26).

After ASU pushed the lead to 20 at 51-31, the Aggies responded with a 6-0 run bookended by baskets from senior guard Crystal Boyd cut into the Sun Devil margin. Both teams played even over the next four minutes with 11 points apiece.

A three-point bucket by junior guard Danisha Corbett made the Sun Devil lead 62-48 at the 12:23 mark of the second half. But Arizona State then went on a 19-0 run to put the game out of reach over the next 6:40 to lead 81-48 before Corbett broke the streak with another trey at the 5:33 mark.

Four Sun Devils scored in double figures in the game. Fulcher scored a career-high 18 points while fellow freshman forward Joy Burke also posted a career-high of 14 points. Junior forward Becca Tobin added 13 for ASU and senior guard Danielle Orsillo notched 12.

NM State returns at least four regular starters for the 2010-11 season and could possibly return all five if senior Crystal Boyd is awarded another year of eligibility by the NCAA.