Aggie Women's Basketball Falls On The Road 88-79 In Season Opener At North Dakota State

The New Mexico State women's basketball team lost their season opener 88-79 at North Dakota State on Friday night. The Aggies could not overcome 43 free throw attempts by the Bison as NDSU converted on 31 attempts. The Bison also got career nights from Janae Burich and Katie Birkel who finished with 27 and 25 points respectively. The Aggies had five players finish in double-digits scoring-wise as Jasmine Lowe led the way with 13 points but was just 1-of-7 from behind the three point arc. Seniors Madison Spence and Danisha Corbett each scored 12 points while junior college transfer Ariella McGhee finished with 10 points and junior Tabytha Wampler added 10 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double.

The Aggies trailed early 10-4 but cut the lead to 13-10 after a free throw by Tabytha Wampler with 13:26 left in the half. The Bison would go on an 8-0 run to push their lead to 11 at 21-10 and just three minutes later held a 16-point lead at 31-15 with 8:46 left to play. The Aggies would still trail by 15 points with 5:19 left as they were behind 37-22 but a jumper by Andrea Chenier with 4:48 left would spark a 12-2 run that cut the led to just five points at 39-34 with 1:10 left in the half. The Aggies would get a pair of layups in the the final 33 seconds of the half to go into halftime down by just three at 41-38.

The Aggies would cut the Bison's lead to just one at 43-42 with 17:40 remaining on a jumper by Ariella McGhee, however, the Bison would extend their lead out ot seven points leading 55-48 with 14:48 left in the game. Trailing by six point with 12:39 left in the game, the Aggies would cut the NDSU lead to just two at 61-59 after a three pointer by Jasmine Lowe with 12 minutes left to play.

The Bison would again stretch their lead back out to seven points as they led 68-61 with 9:22 left but the Aggies would again close the gap to two points at 68-66 on a three pointer by Danisha Corbett with 7:42 left. The Aggies would tie the score at 72-72 with exactly five minutes remaining but a 6-0 run over the next 1:20 left the Aggies trailing 78-72. The Aggies would get no closer as the Bison would salt the game away at the free throw line hitting 7-of-8 free throws over the final 1:27 to seal an 88-79 victory and avenging the loss to the Aggies last year.

The Aggies shot 42.9 percent from the field in both halves hitting an identical 15-of-35 in each half. The Aggies finished the night 7-of-17 from behind the three point arc as Danisha Corbett finished a perfect 4-of-4 from the arc. The Bison finished the game shooting 44.1 percent as they hit 26-of-59 shots including 5-of-19 from the three point arc.

The Aggies shot 21 free throws on the night hitting 12 and finished just 57.1 percent from the charity stripe. The Bison doubled the Aggies' free throw attempts with 43 trips to the line and converted 31 free throw attempts as three Bison players attempted all 43 free throws. Abby Plucker finished the night 13-of-17, Janae Burich hit 11-of-14 and Katie Birkel hit 7-of-12.

The Aggies edged the Bison on the glass outrebounding the home team 44-42. Each team grabbed 26 defensive boards while the Aggies had 18 offensive rebounds to the Bison's 16.

The Aggies return to action on Saturday night as they travel to Grand Forks, N.D. to take on North Dakota.