Aggies Upset Nevada 63-59, Remain In Hunt For First Round Bye In WAC Tournament

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

RENO, NV - The New Mexico State women's basketball team rallied in the second half for a 63-59 victory over Nevada inside Lawlor Events Center Saturday afternoon.
NM State took the lead for good midway through the second half after a 12-2 run to give the Aggies their largest lead of the game at 51-44 with 6:37 left in the game. The home team closed to within a point of the Aggies on three occasions in the final minutes but NM State maintained the lead down the stretch.

Senior Jasmine Lowe led the Aggies with a season-high 19 points. Lowe found herself in early foul trouble early in the second half at the 17:32 left. She re-entered the game midway through the half to score nine points in the second until time expired.

Senior guard Madison Spence and junior Tabytha Wampler sealed the game in the final minute. Wampler finished with 10 in the game and senior guard Danisha Corbett finished with 11 off the bench.

The Aggies shot 45.1 percent while the defense held Nevada to just 26.3 percent from the field. Nevada led on the glass 48-35 but NM State led on the defensive boards 28-27. The Aggies made four treys on 11 attempts while the Pack made just 2-of-15 games.

With the win, NM State improves to 12-16 overall and 6-8 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). After the loss, Nevada drops to 19-8 overall and 8-6 in the WAC.

"We had a pretty deflated team after the Utah State game (Thursday) night," said head coach Darin Spence. "Our team voiced an opinion that they were tired of losing, and we came out and won tonight. This was a huge gut check win for us."

NM State got on the scoreboard first on a floater in the lane from senior guard Jasmine Lowe. Aggie starter Jasmine Rutledge drew two early fouls to find a seat on the bench early. After a 4-4 tie, Lowe scored four straight to give the Aggies an 8-4 lead.

The Aggies continued to build its lead as the visitors outscored the Wolf Pack 9-4 midway through the first 20 minutes. NM State extended the lead to seven at 17-10 after a three-point play from junior guard Kaitlyn Soto with 11:08 remaining in the half for its largest advantage of the half.

Nevada rallied with an 8-0 run over the next four minutes to take its first lead of the game at 18-17 with 7:45 left in the half. NM State responded with four straight points to take a 22-18 edge with just over six minutes before the break.

Both teams played even down the stretch, Nevada tied the game a second time at 25-25 but a bucket by senior Danisha Corbett helped keep the Aggies in the lead over the final 2:30 of the half. NM State led 30-28 at the half.

With 24 first-half fouls between the squads, both teams combined to shoot 34 fouls shots before the break. Nevada made 16-of-21 while NM State shot 8-of-13 from the line.

Nevada missed all five attempts from long range in the first half. The Wolf Pack scored more points from the line (16) than they did from the floor (12). The Aggies held UN to 21.4 percent from the field while making 38.5 percent of their shots from the floor. Nevada held the rebounding edge in the first 20 at 25-18. NM State outscored the Pack in the paint 12-6 in the first.

Nevada drained a three to open the second half to take its second lead of the game at 31-30. The teams traded the lead but the Wolf Pack opened the second 20 on a 7-2 run to take its largest lead of the game so far at 35-32.

A driving layup by Soto put the Aggies back ahead 36-35 with 13:06 remaining. Nevada took back the lead behind seven straight offensive points from leading scorer Tahnee Robinson at 42-39.

A bucket by Christina Fletcher closed NM State to within one at 42-41 and began a 12-2 NM State run over the next 3:12 of the game. The Aggies matched their largest lead of the game of seven at 51-44 with 6:37 remaining.

Playing with four fouls, Lowe kept active on offense over the final minutes of the game, scoring seven.

Robinson led Nevada with a game-high 24 points tonight as the only player in double digits for the Wolf Pack. Marissa Hammond led UN on the glass with eight rebounds.

NM State returns home to the Pan American Center to conclude the 2010-11 regular season against Idaho and Boise State. The Aggies host Idaho at 5 p.m. MT on Thursday, March 3.

The Aggies end the season with Senior Night honoring Madison Spence, Danisha Corbett and Jasmine Lowe with a 3 p.m. game against Boise State on Saturday, March 5. Both games can be heard over the Aggie Sports Radio Network on KSNM 570 AM.