Aggies Stumble At Home Against Hawai'i, Lose 57-52

Madison SpenceNew Mexico State suffered a disappointing loss to Hawai'i falling 57-52 on Tuesday night in the Pan American Center as the Wahine snapped an 18-game conference road losing streak dating back to January 30, 2009. Madison Spence led all scorers with 16 points and added 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals. The Wahine grabbed a whopping 52 rebounds including 19 offensive boards converting 10 second chance points in the upset.

The Aggies fell behind early 3-0 as Albuquerque native Megan Tinnin buried a three pointer. The Aggies would respond with a 13-2 run to take a 13-5 lead in the game with 14:12 remaining in the first half. The Wahine would claw back into the game over the next four minutes and tie the game at 13 on a jumper by Shawna Lei Kuehu. Christina Fletcher would spur a 5-0 run with a jumper followed by a three pointer from Madison Spence as the Aggies would take an 18-13 lead with 9:36 left in the half.

Hawai'i would answer the Aggies' spurt with a 9-0 run of their own capped by five straight points from Tinnin to give the Wahine a 24-18 lead. The Aggies would get a three from Kaitlyn Soto to cut the deficit to three at 24-21 with 4:13 left in the half but the Aggies would fail to score over the final four minutes missing six shots and a free throw while the Wahine would hit a pair of free throws with 36 seconds left to take a 26-21 lead into the halftime break.

The Wahine would quickly build their lead back to nine points behind a Keisha Kanekoa jumper and a Tinnin layup. New Mexico State would cut the lead to three at 30-27 after a fastbreak layup from Madison Spence. Hawai'i would score four in a row to build the lead back to seven but a pair of free throws from Tabytha Wampler and a three pointer from Kaitlyn Soto would cut the deficit to two at 34-32 with 13:10 left to play. The Aggies would continue to trail by a bucket but a layup from Kaitlyn Soto and a three pointer from Jasmine Lowe would give the Aggies their first lead of the second half at 41-39 with 9:17 left to play. The Aggies would quickly surrender the lead back to the Wahine as a pivotal exchange occurred with 8:50 left to play. Sophomore forward Christina Fletcher would airball a free throw attempt and then commit a foul on Shawna-Lei Kuehu on the defensive end and Kuehu would make the shot and the free throw for a three oitn play. Keisha Kanekoa would bury a three after a missed shot by the Aggies and the Wahine would lead 44-41. New Mexico State would get to within one after a pair of Spence free throws but the Wahine would build their lead back to six with 5:58 left to play.

The Aggies would continue to trail by six with 3:07 left in the game but would cut the deficit down to three after a jumper from Tabytha Wampler. The Aggies would take a quick timeout but out of the timeout the Wahine would get an easy layup as Breanna Arbuckle would slice through the Aggies' interior defense to give the Wahine a five point cushion at 53-48. The Wahine would hit 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch to hold on for the 57-52 victory.

The team committed a combined 38 turnovers and neither team shot well from the floor as the Wahine hit 36.4 percent (20-of-55) while the Aggies hit 33.3 percent (18-of-54). New Mexico State shot just 16 free throws in the game and hit just 62.5 percent (10-of-16) while the Wahine struggled from the line shooting 55.6 percent (15-of-27).

With the loss the Aggies fall to 4-6 in conference play and 10-14 overall. New Mexico State returns to action on Thursday night when they host San Jose State.