NMSU Women's Basketball Falls At UNM 86-75

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Despite Gia Pack and Zaire Williams each registering double-doubles, the New Mexico State women’s basketball team’s rally in the second-half was not enough in its 86-75 loss to Battle of I-25 rival New Mexico Saturday afternoon at Dreamstyle Arena.

Coincidentally, the last time NM State had two players tally double-doubles was against UNM back on Nov. 30, 2016. Tamera William (23 points, 12 rebounds) and Brooke Salas (20 points, 10 rebounds) were the last two to do it.

“Our kids kept battling,” Aggie head coach Brooke Atkinson said postgame. “They were aggressive. You know, I told them I’ll never be mad at them for making an aggressive move down the floor and getting an offensive foul. It’s just those ticky-tack fouls 94-feet from the basket. We have to be smarter as a unit.

The Aggies had a tough start from the field, shooting just 6-of-17 after the first quarter of play. The bright spot for NM State (1-2) was that five different players scored for the Aggies.

Neither team shot very in the second period either, with both teams shooting just 4-of-17 from the floor. Pack ended the Aggie scoring drought that lasted 5:53 with a bucket on the low block. That basket sparked a run for the Aggies and cut the Lobo (4-0) lead to 35-24 heading into the break thanks to a 10-3 run.

UNM got off to a quick start in the second-half, posting eight-straight points before forcing Atkinson to call a timeout just 1:20 into the third quarter. After a 6-3 run by the Lobos gave them their largest lead of the game at 50-27, NM State responded with a 6-0 run and cut the deficit to 50-33 with 5:44 remaining.

Aggie junior Monique Mills got hot in the latter-half of the third frame and the rest of the half, knocking down shot-after-shot from beyond the arc. Between her Pack and Salas, New Mexico State clawed back to keep itself within striking distance, 60-50, heading into the final quarter of action.

NM State’s resilience kept the pressure on UNM, matching every Lobo basket. However, foul trouble began to creep up on the Aggies and gave New Mexico a 24-11 advantage at the line.

Mills brought NM State within 65-58 of UNM with 7:11 remaining on the clock when she drained one of her five treys from the wing. But, that was as close as the Aggies would get as the fouls began to add up with Salas and Jasmine Cooper fouling out within 11 seconds of one another.

“I saw a lot of emotion in that locker room and that’s great,” commented Atkinson. “And I told them, hey, we’re taking a step forward, we’re getting better…and remember that feeling inside because we’ll get them in another two weeks.”

Mills finished with a team-high 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three while Pack posted 18 points to go with a career-high 15 rebounds. Williams also finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points to go with a dozen rebounds as well. Salas, who was hindered by foul trouble all afternoon, managed to chip in with 15 points and seven rebounds of her own.

New Mexico State now returns home for a quick turnaround as it entertains Texas A&M – Corpus Christi on Monday, Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. (MT). Fans can get tickets for Monday’s action at the Pan American Center by visiting the ticket office or by calling 575-646-1420.