Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women’s basketball team hosted the Grand Canyon University Lopes on Sunday afternoon for the team’s Play4Kay pink game. The Aggies trailed for over 26 minutes of the contest, until a late third quarter run gave the team a lead which they held for the remainder of play as they defeated the Lopes, 67-60.
NM State went down early in the game to GCU as a 12-5 run by the opponent had the Aggies playing catch up throughout the first quarter. Fortunately, the Aggies hounding defense saw Moriah Mack and Brooke Salas force back-to-back turnovers to bring the team within one point, 19-18, towards the end. The Lopes were then able to answer with the final basket of the quarter as NM State trailed 21-18 after one.
The second quarter saw the opponent come out flying as NM State was only able to knock down four buckets over ten minutes. The lopsided scoring gave GCU their biggest lead of the game as they went up by 10 points with only 2:58 remaining in the half.
Strong play in the paint by the Aggies saw them outscore the Lopes 18-10 which kept the score close as NM State walked out of the first half only down 37-28. Moriah Mack led the scoring for the Aggies with 10 points, while GCU’s top scorer, Marina Laramie, put up 16.
Heading into the second half, NM State looked for an edge to close the gap and take the lead. That edge, as they found, was off of aggressive trap defense which forced the opponent to make numerous mistakes. The Aggies capitalized on these opportunities as the team went on a 12-0 run late in the quarter. During this run, Tamera William hit a three-pointer with 2:05 left to play to give the Aggies their first lead of the game, 45-43.
The aggressive defense and clutch shooting saw NM State outscore GCU, 21-10, in the third quarter as they entered the final quarter on top 49-47.
In the fourth quarter, the Aggies looked to expand their lead with stifling defense. The strategy worked as the team continued to force turnovers as they outscored the opponent off of them, 20-7. The final quarter saw all 18 of the Aggies points come from three players, Tyler Ellis, Tamera William and Brooke Salas as NM State took home the victory, 67-60.
Scoring for the team featured four players in double digits, which was led by Ellis who put up a career-high 16 points, followed by Moriah Mack and Tamera William who each totaled 15 and Brooke Salas with 10.
This victory was the 11th straight for NM State as the team now moves to 18-6 overall and a perfect 10-0 in Western Athletic Conference play.
The Aggies will remain in the Pan Am for their next game as they host the UTRGV Vaqueros on Saturday Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. MT. This will be the final home contest of the season for the Aggies.