Aggies' Second-Half Rally At Seattle Falls Short

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

SEATTLE, WA - With an early second half attempt to come out of a large deficit, the New Mexico State women's basketball team was unable to come up with the win, giving the victory to Seattle U 78-62 on Saturday, Feb. 9. The Aggies are now 9-14 on the year and 3-10 in Western Athletic Conference play.

Shooting 45.2 percent from the floor in the second half, the Aggies still managed to have three scoring in double figures even with the loss. The team was led by senior Stefanie Gilbreath with 15 points and six rebounds. For the second straight game, sophomore Danesia Williamson recorded more than 10 points (13), pulling her out of her six game slump. While freshman Sasha Weber worked for 12 points in the game with three rebounds, senior Kelsie Rozendaal worked for six rebounds and eight points in the loss.

"We were slow to get going in the first half," head coach Mark Trakh said, "but we really picked things up in the second half and proved a lot. It was nice to see the team start to turn around. Now we just need to get to that point earlier in the game."

The Redhawks struck first early in the opening half, but Rozendaal put the Aggies on the board with a three within the first minute in Seattle. As the teams tied at six points each, SU ran away for 17 unanswered points giving the Redhawks a 23-6 lead before Rozendaal sank a free throw. The Aggies gave up another short run in the last four minutes in the half, putting NM State down 24 with less than one minute to play. In the final minute of the period, the Aggies sent Seattle's Maggie McCarthy to the line for two more points, but a pair of shots from the line from Weber and one from Williamson put the Aggies up to 15 points at the end of the half, while the Redhawks went into intermission with 38.

The second half proved to be a turning point for NM State as the team outscored Seattle 30-15 in the first 10 minutes of play. Cutting the lead from 20 to 14 in the first five minutes of the half, the Redhawks were slow to stop the Aggies offense. NM State worked to cut the Seattle lead to just eight points as Rozendaal and Weber hit back-to-back three's, moving the score to 53-45 with 10:32 left to play.

The team's traded time and points at the line in the final two minutes, but NM State's second-half dominance fizzled as the Redhawks went on a late 17-7 run before the Aggies were able to pick up the final two three pointers of the game. The Redhawks were still able to claim the 78-62 win over NM State.

The Aggies now get back to Las Cruces, N.M., for a four-game homestand beginning with San Jose State on Thursday, Feb. 14.