LAS VEGAS, NV - On Monday, the New Mexico State women’s basketball team played their first game of three at the Play4Kay Shootout, against the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The contest was tight from start to finish as the Aggies dropped a close one, 49-46.
After the tip, the game opened up with a quick 10-3 run for the Bobcats. NM State battled back and answered with a 10-3 run of their own, however, as they shifted momentum to close out the quarter. Each team had a tough night shooting due to strong defense, but attacked the glass well and they both had 10 rebounds in the first quarter. The opening 10 minutes closed out at 13-13.
Each defense came out in the next quarter and kept the scoring low as NM State did not get their first basket until 2:05 into the second. The baskets were few and far between for the Aggies as Quinnipiac jumped out to an 11-2 run. A few key turnovers and free throw opportunities allowed the Aggies to cut into the lead, however, as they only trailed 26-23 at the end of the first half.
The first 20 minutes saw senior guard Moriah Mack lead the team with six points, while Gia Pack and Brooke Salas each had five. The NM State deficit began off of turnovers as they had 11 in the second quarter and Quinnipiac capitalized with nine points off of them.
As the teams emerged from the locker rooms, the score continued to remain close as they traded baskets. Quinnipiac started with back-to-back scores to open the quarter, but NM State responded and went on an 8-0 run to grab their first lead in over ten minutes, 32-31. Quinnipiac took back the lead soon after, but with under a minute to go Brooke Salas hit two free throws and then Gia Pack stole the resulting inbound pass to close the gap as the quarter ended, 40-37.
NM State remained behind throughout the fourth quarter, but the aggressive play of the Bobcats forced their leading scorer of the season, Jen Fay (11.0) out of the game with 6:00 left. Quinnipiac’s play also put the team in the bonus each quarter, but NM State could not capitalize on the opportunities and they were not able to close in on the lead as the final seconds ticked off the clock with the Aggies losing, 49-46.
The loss puts the Aggies at 7-4 on the season. This was the first game of the year in which NM State gave up more turnovers than their opponent (28-21). As the game wrapped up, Mack had 12 points and five rebounds, while Tamera William dropped eight points with 10 rebounds.
New Mexico State will look to bounce back as they square off with the loser of the UNLV versus Oregon State game tomorrow at 4 p.m. MT in the T-Mobile Arena.