NMSU Women's Basketball Falls To Seattle In WAC Tournament Semifinals

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS VEGAS, NV - The New Mexico State women’s basketball team took on Seattle U in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday at Orleans Arena. The Aggies faced off against a better shooting Redhawk squad that was 6-for-7 from three-point range in the first half en route to an 84-61 loss for NM State.

Following the tournament loss head coach Brooke Atkinson spoke postgame saying, “Seattle came out scoring from the jump and we tried to cut that lead down with quick shots and lack of defense. They (Seattle U) shot the ball really well and as a whole it was not our best team outing.”

The Aggies quickly found themselves in a hole when the Redhawks opened the game on a 14-5 run forcing NM State to call a timeout at the 3:52 mark of the first quarter. Following the stoppage the Aggies looked to chip away at the deficit with three of the next four baskets but Seattle U scored the final eight points of the quarter to put NM State down 24-11 after 10 minutes.

A hot-shooting first quarter carried over into the second for SU as their first three baskets were from downtown and at the media stoppage with 4:31 remaining the Aggies trailed 38-20. The break in play did not slow down the momentum of the Redhawks as the opponent closed the first half on an 11-2 run to put NM State behind 49-22 heading to the locker room.

Gia Pack opened the scoring in the third quarter with the hope of swinging momentum in favor of the Aggies. However, SU continued to knock down shots and build a 9-2 run. A three-pointer from Monique Mills and baskets from Pack and Brooke Salas brought NM State closer but the team still trailed 60-33 with 4:49 remaining in the third.

Neither team could separate as the quarter closed out and the Aggies trailed 65-39 entering the fourth quarter. A back-and-forth scoring frame held the Aggies down for the remainder of the contest. Despite outscoring the Redhawks 14-7 to close out the game the Crimson & White still fell in the semifinal contest, 84-61.

At game’s end Salas and Pack each led NM State in scoring with 18 points apiece. Zaire Williams added 12 and had a team-high four assists and three steals.

New Mexico State’s season still moves forward following the tournament loss. After winning the WAC regular-season title the Aggies have secured themselves a spot in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament with matchups being announced on Monday, March 12.