Aggie Women's Basketball Rolls Past Western New Mexico 90-59

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women's basketball posted its first home win of the season with a 90-59 defeat of Western New Mexico at the Pan American Center on Monday night.

NM State got a scare in the second half when leading scorer and senior guard Madison Spence went down early in the second half in what looked like a potential concussion. She did not return, finishing the night with three points in just 13 minutes of play.

Two reserve Aggie guards stepped up to fill the void, scoring in double digits. Junior Kaitlyn Soto led all scorers with 15 points while freshman guard Andrea Chenier added 14 both off the bench. Starting senior guard Jasmine Lowe netted 13 points, while sophomore backcourt mate Camila Rosen put up 12.

All 13 active players on the roster saw time on the floor with a dozen scoring and 11 playing double-digit minutes. All but two players grabbed a rebound as well. Junior forward Ariella McGhee led the Aggies on the boards with seven. "I thought we had much better energy tonight than we did on Saturday," said head coach Darin Spence. "I think we rebounded the ball better and got some minutes from our bench. So everybody got a chance to grow tonight and that will help us down the road."

On playing much of the second half without Madison Spence, Coach Spence said, "I think we fumbled around. Someone has got to step up. Jasmine (Lowe) and Kaitlyn (Soto) have quality experience and need to do a better job when something like that happens. (Madison) may have a concussion, so now we'll just have to wait and see to see how long she may have to sit out."

With the win, NM State improved to 3-2 on the season while WNMU opened the season at 0-1.

NM State opened the game by scoring the first five points of the game. A three-pointer by senior guard Danisha Corbett extended the Aggie lead to 8-2. The Mustangs countered with a 5-0 spurt to cut the lead down to one. But Chenier scored two baskets and Soto dropped in two treys to combine for 10 points over next four minutes to give NM State an 18-8 advantage with under 16 minutes remaining in the half.

A three-pointer by Lowe gave the Aggies an 11-point lead with just over 13 minutes left in the half. WNMU rallied with a 12-6 run over the next four minutes to cut the lead down to five at 27-22. After being fouled on a trey, Lowe knocked down all three free throws to complete a 9-4 run and put the Aggies up 36-26.

Soto scored three and junior forward Tabytha Wampler added two buckets at the end of the half to give the Aggies their largest lead of the half 47-33 going into the locker rooms at halftime.

Twelve Aggies saw action in the first half, with 10 getting on the scoreboard. Soto led all players with nine points in seven minutes off the bench. NM State shot 54.5 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc. The Aggies led the Mustangs 10-2 in second chance points and outscored WNMU 21-7 in bench points.

The NM State defense forced the Mustangs into 16 first-half turnovers. The Aggies scored 20 points off of those turnovers. NM State coughed up seven miscues leading to 10 WNMU points. The Mustangs out-rebounded the Aggies 16-15 in the half and shot 47.8 percent from the floor while making one of six three-point attempts.

In the second half, Western never got closer than 13 points. NM State blew the lead wide open with a 15-3 run keyed by Chenier and freshman Jasmine Rutledge spanning the second five minutes after halftime to lead 67-42 and effectively put the game out of reach.

Local Las Cruces native Shatwa Morris led WNMU with 14 points while Jaleesa Russell led the Mustangs on the boards with seven.

NM State continues its six-game home stand at the Pan American Center against Alcorn State on Friday, Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m. MT during the nightcap of Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic. The 4:00 p.m. matchup pits Northern Iowa against Louisiana-Monroe.