Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
OREM, UT - The New Mexico State Aggies women's basketball team squared off with the Utah Valley Wolverines on Thursday evening in Orem, Utah at the Lockhart Arena. This contest saw the Aggies take a lead with their first basket of the game and never surrender it as they defeated the Wolverines, 66-53, and swept the season series.
The game opened to a very low-scoring opening as NM State led 9-0, 5:18 into the first quarter. Utah Valley then called a timeout to try and get their feet under them, but the call was to no avail, as the opponent was not able to score for another minute of play until they hit a pair of free throws.
Through the first ten minutes, NM State outscored UVU in the paint (10-2) with five Aggies knocking down a basket as the team led 17-6 after one quarter.
NM State allowed UVU to form a comeback in the second as the opponent went on a 15-2 run which cut the Aggies lead down to three, 24-21, with 3:10 left in the first half. Junior guard Zaire Williams ended the Wolverines run after hitting a three-pointer and allowing the team to end on an 8-2 run as the team led 32-23 heading into the locker rooms.
The Aggies and Wolverines kept the game close on the stat sheet after 20 minutes but the Aggies maintained their lead with efficient shooting going 13-27 (.481) from the field, compared to 9-29 (.310) for the opponent. Team scoring at the half was led by Zaire Williams who put up 14 points, followed by Brianna Freeman with seven points and five rebounds.
Coming out of the break, NM State made sure that Utah Valley's best effort was not enough to steal the lead. This was done with excellent shooting as the Aggies went 6-6 from the field, including 3-3 from downtown, with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter. This was the highest scoring quarter for the team as they put up 19 and entered the final quarter ahead 51-36.
In the fourth quarter, neither team could hit a significant run like they had in the previous 30 minutes and NM State relied on solid defense and the ability to answer on offense to hold their lead. The play worked as the Aggies walked away with a 66-53 victory.
The win for the team saw four Aggies score in double digits. The offensive production was led by Zaire Williams who finished with 17 points, followed by Moriah Mack with 14, while Brooke Salas and Brianna Freeman each added 11.
This was the 13th straight win for the Aggies, the second longest in program history. The victory brings the team to 20-6 overall and 12-0 in WAC play.
NM State will now travel to Seattle, Wash. For their next game as they take on Seattle U (12-14, 9-2) on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. MT.