Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
CHICAGO, IL - The New Mexico State Aggies (16-6, 8-0) women’s basketball team squared off against the Chicago State Cougars (0-22, 0-8) on Saturday afternoon at the Jones Convocation Center in Chicago, Ill. NM State took over in the fourth quarter to defeat CSU, 65-54, and sweep the season series.
After the tight contest, head coach Mark Trakh commented, “We played a well-coached team to the end. This was a close game and I’m happy walking away with a win after a tough 40 minutes of play.”
Saturday’s game opened with a back-and-forth scoring contest, with the Cougars keeping the game close hitting three-straight shots from three-point range. NM State was able to dominate down low outscoring the opponent in the paint, 16-8. The first quarter closed out with the Aggies ahead of the Cougars, 22-19.
The scoring pace slowed down in the second quarter as each team’s defense was able to contain the offensive pressure. Looking to keep the Aggies lead, junior guard Zaire Williams put up seven straight points for NM State as they led 34-28 with 3:00 left in the first half. However, Chicago State scored the only baskets in the remaining time to cut down the Aggies lead to 34-32 after two quarters of play.
Heading to the locker room, Brianna Freeman led the scoring for NM State with nine points and Moriah Mack added eight of her own. The Aggies lead was built off of strong play down low as they out-rebounded the opposition, 20-8.
Strong defensive play continued in the third quarter as each team only knocked down one basket over the first three minutes of play. Neither team could go on a run to open up the scoring which kept the game close as NM State went into the fourth quarter ahead, 48-46.
Momentum shifted as the final quarter opened as the Aggies went on a 13-4 run early on the way to their largest lead of the game which lasted until the final buzzer as the Aggies walked away with a 65-54 victory over Chicago State.
Three Aggies finished in double-digits scoring as Brianna Freeman led the way with a season-high 17 points, followed by Moriah Mack with 13 and Tamera William had 11. NM State won the battle on the boards with more rebounds (41-22), put up more points in the paint (46-24) and second chance points (19-4) on the night which carried the team to a win.
The win is the ninth straight for the Aggies as the team now sits at 16-6 overall and 8-0 in WAC play this season. Next up, NM State returns home for a three-game home stand, beginning with a game against CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. MT.