The New Mexico State women's basketball team fell to Battle of I-25 rival New Mexico at the Pan American Center on Saturday. Despite Gia Pack scoring a career-high 33 points, the Aggies dropped the 101-93 contest for the team's third-straight loss.
"Our team competed for 40 minutes today. They left everything out on the floor. They didn't always execute but they played through their mistakes. I think today's game was a game of runs and we fought back and I'm proud of our team for doing that," head coach Brooke Atkinson said. "Defensively, we need to continue to continue to get better. We need to continue to create our identity on the defensive end."
How It Happened
NM State (2-5) fell behind early, trailing UNM (9-0) 8-0 to start the game. After Monique Mills kick started the Aggies offense with a jumper, Gia Pack hit back-to-back baskets to cut the Lobos lead to four. NM State continued to battle and a jumper by Brooke Salas tied the contest 13-13. However, UNM quickly regained the lead and went ahead 32-17 late in the quarter. NM State did not give up and a basket from beyond the arc from Pack started a 12-point rally to cut the lead UNM to 32-29 at the end of the period.
In the second quarter, the Aggies went back-and forth with UNM, and with 3:51 left in a period, Brooke Salas hit a three-point shot to put NM State ahead by four. The Lobos quickly tied the game 46-46 but New Mexico State countered with a jumper to put the Aggies ahead by two. With 1:13 left in the quarter, UNM began a six-point run that closed out the half and put the NM State behind 52-48.
New Mexico State came into the second half by scoring six-straight to hold a two-point advantage over the Lobos. The teams battled, exchanging baskets until a 9-2 run by New Mexico put the Aggies behind 70-63 late in the period. New Mexico State continued to go back-and-forth with UNM but trailed 77-69 with a period to play.
New Mexico extended their advantage to 11 early final quarter but the Aggies rallied to cut the deficit to six. After scoring five unanswered points to trail 85-84, Zaire Williams hit a critical three pointer to give New Mexico State the lead, but New Mexico quickly countered to regain an 89-87 advantage. Despite the Aggies' best efforts down the stretch, the New Mexico State was unable to take back the lead and fell to the Lobos 101-93.
By the Numbers
Pack led the Aggies when she posted a new career best with 33 points. Salas scored 20 points for NM State while also recording eight rebounds in the game. Williams followed closely behind with 19 points and eight assists.
For the next contest, NM State take on Battle of I-10 rival UTEP at the Pan American Center on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. (MT).