Aggie Women's Basketball Falls 82-62 In Home Opener Against Houston

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women's basketball team could not overcome two double-digit runs by a veteran Houston team in each half, falling 82-62 to the Cougars in the Aggies' home opener at the Pan American Center on Saturday night.

Houston put together a 15-0 run after the under-eight minute media timeout of the first half to pull ahead 30-19 with 3:24 left in the stanza. Cougar reserve guard Roxana Button stunned the Aggies by scoring seven straight during the rally with two threes and a free throw.

Down 39-25 at halftime, Aggie junior forward Tabytha Wampler attained double digits after a pair of free throws to cut the UH lead to 12. But the Cougars responded with a 10-0 run to go up 49-27 at the 16:55 mark and held off NM State the rest of the way.

Wampler continued her strong early-season play with 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Senior guards Jasmine Lowe and Madison Spence also scored in double figures with 18 and 14, respectively.

"It was tough, but we played a good team," said head coach Darin Spence. "We didn't step up when we needed to tonight. We looked tentative out there. We just didn't get good enough play from people in our leadership spots. But the bottom line is Houston is a good basketball team."

NM State falls to 2-2 on the season while Houston moves to 2-0 this year.

Houston shot 49 percent from the field including 55 percent from beyond the arc led by Button who made four of her six long range attempts. NM State shot 36 percent in the game and 27 percent from outside the arc. The Cougars out-rebounded the Aggies 45-35 and outscored NM State 32-18 in the paint. NM State recorded six blocks to zero for UH and led in steals 10-7.

Houston scored the first four points of the game to lead early. But a jumper by sophomore guard Camila Rosen and a three from Spence put the Aggies ahead at 5-4. NM State rallied from a 7-7 tie to put together a 7-2 run for its largest lead of the game of five at 14-9 with 12:44 remaining in the half.

Spence and Rosen combined for another trey and bucket to halt a 6-0 UH run to regain the lead at 19-15 with 7:39 left in the half. However, the Cougars' 15-0 first-half run helped UH go into the locker rooms with a 39-25 advantage.

The early 10-0 second-half run by UH put the Aggies deeper into a hole at 49-27 with 16:55 remaining. Lowe scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half to keep the Aggie offense going. But the Aggies would get no closer than 17 the rest of the way.

UH forward Courtney Taylor posted a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Guard Brittney Scott added 18 and Button finished with 17 on the night for the Cougars.

NM State continues its six-game home stand at the Pan American Center against Western New Mexico on Monday, Nov. 22 at 7:05 p.m. MT.