The New Mexico State women's basketball team took down Long Beach State at the Walter Pyramid on Thursday afternoon. The Aggies defeated LBSU 72-63 in their final game at the Long Beach Classic.
"Our team did a great job today. Obviously losing like we did yesterday, it takes a lot out of you physically and emotionally," head coach Brooke Atkinson said. "This team battled today and played with a lot of toughness and that's all I can ask. At the end, we need to handle those situations better but it's a learning process."
How It Happened
NM State (5-7) fell behind early to start the game with LBSU (2-10) scoring the first five points of the contest. The Aggies overcame the early deficit with a rally of their own when Monique Mills and Gia Pack each hit a shot from beyond the arc. After falling behind 12-8 at the media timeout, the Aggies rallied with a 10-0 run to close out the quarter.
Zaire Williams got the offense started in the second quarter when she hit a three-pointer to give NM State a seven-point advantage. Following the basket, Brooke Salas scored six-straight for the Aggies which led to New Mexico State leading 28-19 with 4:39 remaining in the half. NM State went back-and-forth with Long Beach State but maintained the lead and heading into the locker room, New Mexico State held the 33-26 advantage.
At the break, Pack led all players with 14 points. She also posted a team-high seven rebounds and three steals. Salas tallied eight points and a pair of blocks in the first half.
Salas came out hot in the third quarter, scoring nine-straight for New Mexico State to give the team the 42-28 advantage. Pack got in on the action scoring a pair of buckets for the Aggies and at the media timeout, New Mexico State had outscored LBSU 15-6. NM State continued to dominate on offense and despite the Beach scoring a basket just before time expired, the Aggies held on to a 60-43 advantage heading into the final quarter.
New Mexico State maintained its momentum early with Salas and Dominique Mills scoring but a 7-0 run by the Beach cut into the Aggies' lead. Jeneva Toilolo snapped the LBSU rally when she hit a jumper with 5:51 remaining in the contest and a pair of free-throws by Salas extended New Mexico State's advantage to 15. A 10-1 rally by the Beach late in the game brought the Aggies 'advantage to single-digits but NM State held on to defeat Long Beach State 72-63.
By the Numbers
Pack posted a double-double, scoring 27 points and recording 12 rebounds in the victory. Salas scored 23 for the Aggies during her 32 minutes played. Following the game, Pack was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts during the Long Beach Classic as she posted 42 points and 20 rebounds total.
For their next contest, the Aggies take on UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Dec. 29 at the Pan American Center with tip-off set for noon MT.