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Aggie Women's Basketball Holds Off Alcorn State 67-61 | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

Aggie Women's Basketball Holds Off Alcorn State 67-61

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Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women's basketball team earned a hard-fought 67-61 victory over Alcorn State at the Pan American Center on Friday night in the first round of the Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic.

The Aggies led by as many as 20 in the first half. However, Alcorn State used a 17-6 run over NM State in the middle of the second half to close the gap to two at 47-45. The Braves would tie the score twice at 55 all and 58-58, but could not overtake the lead, NM State closed out the game on a 9-3 run for the final margin.

Senior point guard Madison Spence did not dress for the Aggies Friday as junior Kaitlyn Soto made her first start of the season. Senior guard Danisha Corbett led all scorers in the game with 20 points. Fellow senior guard Jasmine Lowe added 17 points. Junior forward Tabytha Wampler claimed her fourth career double-double and second of the young season with 10 points and 15 boards.

Alcorn State out-rebounded NM State 54-38 in the game and had a commanding 26-3 lead in second chance points. The Aggies forced 24 Brave turnovers, leading to 23 points but coughed up 20 of their own that led to 13 points for the visitors. NM State shot 34 percent from the field and held ASU to 31 percent.

"Well it was a good game tonight," said head coach Darin Spence. "We obviously have to grow up a bit and have to play a lot better in the second half of our games. We didn't have our floor leader tonight and this is our first test without (Madison Spence). All in all our kids needed a test like that and they got one tonight."

With the win, NM State improves to 4-2 on the season while Alcorn State falls to 0-4 this year. The Aggies face Northern Iowa (3-1) in the Classic final Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. MT.

Corbett opened the game with consecutive three-point baskets to take a quick 6-0 lead at the 18:15 mark. Alcorn State answered with a 6-0 run for the first tie of the game. The Aggies and Corbett responded with a 9-0 streak to go up 15-6 capped off by two buckets by the senior to give her 10 points in the first 6:15 of the game.

Six different Aggies scored over the next five minutes during a 13-0 run to build a 28-10 advantage with 6:10 left in the stanza. Minutes later a three by Lowe gave the NM State its biggest lead of the game at 32-12 with 4:53 left in the half.

Alcorn State ended the half with a 5-2 rally to cut the margin to 34-17 going into halftime.

The Braves scored the first bucket after the break to kick off an 11-4 run over the first four minutes of the half to close to within 10 at 38-28.

Alcorn State guard Kiara Ruffin rained down three treys to help the Braves get back into the game. ASU cut the lead to a bucket with just over eight minutes remaining as part of a 17-6 rally over the middle of the second half.

A basket by Aggie sophomore Camila Rosen and a three by Lowe kept the Braves at bay momentarily at 52-45 with 7:11 remaining. Just over three minutes later ASU battled back to a tie the game at 55-55 after a basket by Au-Juvan Andrews.

Another Lowe bucket put the Aggies back ahead but a pair of free throws by Brave guard Carolinsia Crumbly knotted the score again at 58-58.

This time Wampler broke the tie on a layup after a sweet transition bounce pass from Lowe. Lowe increased the lead to 63-58 with about a minute to go after another bucket and free throw. Fittingly a pair of free throws by Corbett capped off her season-high 20 point game for the final margin of 67-61.

Andrews also finished with a double-double scoring 14 and grabbing 12 rebounds. Ruffin finished with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from long range and guard Renelle Richmond added 12 tallies.

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