Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women’s basketball team used a strong second half to take care of Seattle U in Western Athletic Conference play 75-55 at the Pan American Center Thursday night.
The first quarter was back-and–forth with each side trading buckets. NM State (11-6, 3-1 WAC) took a 12-9 lead coming out of the media timeout with 4:57 on the clock thanks to 10 early points from Brooke Salas. However, the Redhawks (0-17, 0-4) got hot from three and the Aggies trailed 21-18 with 1:25 in the quarter after three-straight threes from Seattle U. New Mexico State got one more bucket before the end of the period but trailed 23-20 at the end of one.
NM State started the second quarter strong, ripping off a 14-1 run, capped by a three-point play from Aaliyah Prince, to take a ten point lead at 34-24 with 3:04 until the half. However, the rest of the quarter was all Redhawks as their zone defense started to force the Aggies into turnovers. With its defense leading the way, Seattle U closed the gap to just three at the half with New Mexico State leading 36-33. NM State shot 53.6 percent from the field in the first half. Salas finished the half with 10 point as did Aderinto while Prince added seven off the bench. The Aggies also outrebounded Seattle 25-6 after two quarters.
The second half started all Aggies as both the defense and offense hit another level. With Salas on the bench with foul trouble, NM State’s press forced seven early turnovers as it went on a 14-0 run to push its lead to 50-33 after a step-back from Stabresa McDaniel with 4:38 in the third. After the Redhawks closed to within 50-39, Aissatou Fall converted a three-point play, followed by buckets from Pack and McDaniel, and the Aggies took a 57-44 lead into the fourth.
Seattle U then closed the gap to single digits at 57-48 with 8:46 to play in the fourth. However, the Aggies were able to push their lead back to 12, 64-52, at the media timeout with 4:17 left. From there, New Mexico State closed the game on an 11-3 run for the final tally of 75-55.NM State had 11 steals in the second half.
The Aggies shot 51.8 percent (29-56) from the field while holding the Redhawks to just 39.2 percent. NM State outrebounded Seattle U 43-20 while forcing 21 turnovers on the night.
Salas recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Dominique Mills poured in a career-high 15 points. Pack scored eight points to go with 11 boards while McDaniel also scored eight points.
The New Mexico State women’s basketball team is back in action when it hosts WAC leader Utah Valley on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 12 p.m. (MT) from the Pan American Center. Saturday’s game is the first Senior Saturday as we celebrate seniors Baylee Robinson and Stabresa McDaniel with Space Day.