Aggie Look to Bounce Back at Utah State and SJSU
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  01/15/2013

This Week: Sitting on a 9-7 overall record with an even 3-3 in WAC play, the Aggies head back out on the road to face Utah State and San Jose State on Jan. 17 and 19, respectively. The USU Aggies go into the Thursday game with a 6-10 record and 3-2 in conference play. The Spartans hold a 5-11 overall record with a 2-3 WAC record, but are coming off a big 103-80 with over Utah State on Saturday. The USU game is set for 7 p.m. while a 3 p.m. start is slated for the SJSU game on Saturday. Both games can be heard on KSNM AM 570 with Jay Sanderson making the call.

Tickets: Tickets are $6 for Adults and as always, kids 12 and under are FREE. A group rate of $4 is available. Call the NM State ticket office at 575-646-1420.

Over the Airwaves: The Aggie Sports Network is producing 15 games on KSNM AM 570 this season, along with any contests in the post season with Jay Sanderson giving the play-by-play. Each of the Aggies road games along with those home games not aired on AggieVision will be available through KSNM.

All games aired on radio are produced by the Aggie Sports Network on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces. The broadcasts can also be heard from anywhere around the world on the Internet by logging onto www.NMStateSports.com.  Just click on the live events link to access the coverage for a fee.

Aggies on TV: Eight games are scheduled to air on television this season on AggieVision. The next game broadcast is the Aggies home game versus WAC foe Texas State on Jan. 31, from the Pan American Center.  Fans can also go to www.AggieVision.tv for channel listings. 

Live Stats on the Web:  Live stats will be available for fans at www.NMStateSports.com at no cost for the entire season.  Fans can click on the Live Events link at the top of the NMStateSports.com home page to access the live stats. Live stats for away games may direct fans to the opposing team's athletics page.

Getting Social:  Get all the updates of Aggie Athletics on Twitter and Facebook. Get in-game statistics and in-game updates on Twitter @NMStateAggies.  Find out about all Aggie Athletics promotions and events on Facebook (NMSU Athletics and The Aggie Student-Athlete).

The Looks

Looking Ahead: The Aggies continue to travel for a single-game road trip to Denver on Jan. 26. The two teams have not met since 2005 and the meeting will mark the first as conference opponents.

Looking Back: Sitting on a three-game win streak in conference play before the week, the Aggies fell in both WAC games in Las Cruces, N.M. to move their record to 3-3 in league play and 9-7 overall. NM State started slower than head coach Mark Trakh would have liked, and two second-half comeback attempts fell short. The Aggies came up short against the Seattle Redhawks 60-54 on Thursday, Jan. 10, and couldn't make up enough ground in the 57-51 loss to the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Aggie Country

About the Aggies: NM State continues with WAC play with a 9-7 overall record and 3-3 in league play. Going into the week with back-to-back losses, the Aggies are looking for a comeback in Logan Utah on Jan. 17. NM State holds the second-best winning percentage (.563) in the conference, after winning three straight early in WAC play. The Aggies held their longest win streak of the season around Thanksgiving when they won four in-a-row at home and have not lost more than two consecutive games this season. NM State is averaging 57.9 points a game with a .340 team shooting percentage. Senior transfer Stefanie Gilbreath leads the Aggies with 15.3 points per game, while fellow senior Kelsie Rozendaal is averaging 6.9 rebounds a game, good for first on the team. . Rozendaal still manages to average 8.5 points per game and Gilbreath has scored at least 15 points in every conference game this season to bring her league average to 18.5 per game. Starting 14 games this season, Rozendaal leads the team with a .495 shooting percentage through her 15 games played. Sasha Weber is on top for the freshmen this season with nine points per game. She is shooting best on the team from three-point range with .381 percent (24-63).

In the WAC: The Aggies went on a three-game winning streak on the second week of WAC play before dropping two at home during the third week to give the team an even 3-3 record. Gilbreath leads the Aggies with 18.5 points per game, while Rozendaal is on top with 7.8 rebounds a game. The Aggies have not lost a conference game by a margin larger than six points.

Road to Las Vegas:  With three weeks of WAC play complete, the Aggies hold the second highest overall winning percentage (.563) in the conference with a 9-7 record. Sitting in the middle of the league, NM State is even with both UTSA and Denver with a 3-3 record. Seattle U is the outright leader in the WAC thus far with a perfect 5-0 record. The Aggies are one of four teams in the conference with a winning overall record.

Big D in LC: Aggie defense proves to be the game changer this season as NM State ranks second in the WAC for scoring defense with an average of 59.4 percent. The Aggies lead in conference games with 59.8 percent.

Home-Court Comfort: The Aggies are 6-4 in the Pan American Center this season. Prior to the Dec. 18 loss to Rio Grande Rival New Mexico, the Aggies boasted a perfect record at home. During the 2011-12 season, five of NM State's six wins came at the Pan Am.

Weekly Standouts

Stefanie Gilbreath: The senior transfer worked for an average of 19 points over the weekend as the Aggies fell to Seattle U and Idaho in Las Cruces, N.M. Gilbreath led the team in each of the week's games with 17 points on Thursday versus the Redhawks and 21 against the Vandals. She notched a career-high three steals and tied her career beast with three blocks on Saturday against UI. Gilbreath improves her season average to 15.3 points per game, good for first on the team and sixth in the WAC. Going 8-9 from the line last week, Gilbreath worked for second in the conference with a .872 free throw percentage. The senior marked her seventh straight game with 15 or more points in the loss to Idaho on Saturday as well.

Danesia Williamson: Second on the team in scoring, Williamson worked for 22 points in the loss to Seattle U on Jan. 10 at the Pan American Center. She led the team with 22 points in the game and collected three assists. While not scoring as well on Saturday night, Williamson still managed five rebounds and four assists with one steal. Her 22 points against the Redhawks moved the sophomore to 12.9 points on average per game, good for second on the team. She is shooting .338 percent from the floor and has tallied a team-leading 19 steals this season for the Aggies

Double Doubles: Seniors Kelsie Rozendaal and Stefanie Gilbreath as well as freshman Sasha Weber have collected double-doubles this season in three games this season.

Gilbreath: 15 pts, 10 reb; UTA, 12/29

Gilbreath: 21 pts, 11 reb; Idaho, 1/12

Rozendaal: 22 pts, 11 reb; Loyola Marymount, 11/12

Rozendaal: 11 pts, 11 reb; at Texas State, 1/5

Weber: 11 pts, 10 reb; at Texas State, 1/5

It's a Three-Point Game: The Aggies have started eight games with a three pointer this season.

vs. George Mason W, 55-52 (D. Williamson)

vs. UC Irvine W, 50-44 (Sasha Weber)

vs. UTEP W, 69-68 (Sasha Weber)

at Southern Utah W, 70-68 (S. Gilbreath)

vs. UT Arlington L, 62-59 (Abby Scott)

vs. LA Tech W, 71-67 (Abby Scott)

at UTSA W, 69-52 (Abby Scott)

at Texas State W, 61-58 (S. Gilbreath)


About Utah State: Averaging 73.9 points per game, the Aggies of Utah State boast a 3-2 conference record, but are just 6-10 overall. The team lost in overtime to Seattle U and fell 103-80 to San Jose State most recently, but claimed conference wins over Idaho, Texas State and UTSA. The victory over UTSA was a 79-66 win in overtime. Devyn Christensen leads the USU Aggies with 20.6 points per game, but it's Franny Vaaulu that leads with a .509 field-goal percentage. Last week against the Spartans, despite the loss, USU had score in double digits.

Series History versus the Aggies: The NM State Aggies are 18-15 all-time against the Utah State Aggies. Last season, NM State fell twice to USU and the last win for the Aggies came in January of 2011 with a 75-71 victory over Utah State.

About San Jose State: The Spartans are 5-11 going into the week, with a shooting average of 68.8 point per game (.376). Starting conference play with a 2-3 overall record, the team is coming off a major high with its 103-80 win over Utah State last weekend. That game alone produced the WAC Player of the Week, Emily Schill who scored 36 of SJSU's points and picked up 18 rebounds. The team has three players averaging in the double digits with each of them shooting above 40 percent.  

Series History versus the Spartans: NM State leads the series with a 25-4 overall record. San Jose State claimed its most recent win last year at home against the Aggies, but one of NM State's three conference wins was over the Spartans in mid-February with a 56-55 win in Las Cruces. The Aggies' last win on the road versus the Spartans was in January of 2011 with a 52-46 win.

 Trakh-ing Down No. 300: Coach Trakh picked up his 300th career win as a Division I head coach on Saturday, Dec. 1, against Southern Utah. The Aggies pulled off a last minute 70-68 defeat over the Thunderbirds, helping Trakh to earn the milestone victory. Trakh holds a 304-218 career record.

Rivalry Rundown

UNM: The Lobos swept the Rio Grande Rivalry Series this season with a 60-37 win over the Aggies at The Pit on Nov. 20 and a 60-44 victory in Las Cruces on Dec. 18. In game one, the Aggies had trouble making shots, but kept the stats similar to the Lobos. The Aggies collected 44 rebounds on the evening with six assists and two blocks. The Lobos were quite similar to NM State with 43 boards, but tallied 16 assists on the evening.

Game two finished in similar fashion with the Lobos claiming a 60-44 victory over NM State at the Pan Am on Dec. 18. The loss at home marked the first of the 2012-13 season. Sasha Weber led the Aggies with 10 points and three rebounds on the evening. The Aggies shot 30.4 percent from the floor but tallied eight steals as a team with 27 rebounds. Those stats were not enough to hold off the Lobos who finished the game shooting 47.5 percent from the field and picking up 42 rebounds on the night.

UTEP: NM State took game one of the Battle of I-10 rivalry series with a late game battle to a 69-68 win over the Miners. UTEP maintained the lead throughout most of the game, gaining as much as a 15 point lead in the first half, but Stefanie Gilbreath finished her first Battle of I-10 game with a stellar 22 points to collect a regular-season career high. She went 5-for-8 on three pointers and picking up eight rebounds to match her career-high. Sophomore Danesia Williamson also picked up a career-high with 23 points on the game with a solid 10-of-12 at the line.

Game two was set to a different tune with the Miners running away early with the 66-44 win over NM State in El Paso. The Aggies struggled on offense, scoring just 14 points in the first half of play. The second half was a bit more positive as Williamson collected 13 points in the half with two field goals and one three pointer. She was 6-for-6 at the line with four rebounds. Jasmine Rutledge finished the game with 11 points on the evening and compiled nine points at the line to mark a new career best for the junior.

Tournament Champs: The New Mexico State Aggies claimed the Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic tournament title with a stellar 50-44 win over UC Irvine on Saturday evening at the Pan American Center. The previous night, the Aggies claimed a 55-52 win over the Patriots of George Mason. With the 2-0 record on the tournament, NM State's Kelsie Rozendaal and Sasha Weber were named to the All-Tournament team. Rozendaal was also selected tournament MVP for her work on the hardwood.

Trakh Signs Five to NLI: Head coach Mark Trakh announces that five high school players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Aggies in the fall of 2013. Trakh is in his second season with NM State and has led the Aggies to a 1-0 start to the 2012-13 season.

Joining the Aggies in 2013 are Tamera Williams of Centennial High School (Las Vegas, Nev.), Brianna Freeman of Harker Heights High School (Killeen, Texas), Vanessa Garner of Archbishop Mitty High School (Milpitas, Calif.), Moriah Mack of Reagan High School (San Antonio, Texas), and Brandee Walton of St. Mary's High School (Phoenix, Az.)

Fresh Faces for Trakh: Head coach Mark Trakh brings on a slew of newcomers for the 2012-13 campaign. Among the new Aggies are transfers Stefanie Gilbreath and Denesia Williamson. Gilbreath joins the Aggie squad after spending four seasons with USC. Gilbreath sat out three seasons with the Trojans due to knee injuries, but played in each of USC's 30 games in 2011-12. Williamson wears the Crimson after one season with University of San Diego. The 5-6 guard averaged 5.1 points, 1.4 assists and 1.1 rebounds per game with the Toreros.

Along with the two transfers, Trakh also adds five other players to the roster. Las Cruces native, Elena Holguin, comes in after redshirting her freshman season. Three-point threat, Alexis Nelson, joins the Aggies after breaking the single-season record for three pointers with 60 during her senior campaign at Aurora High School in Aurora, Ill. Abby Scott (Madras, Ore.), Sasha Weber (Lacey, Wash.) and Shay Young (San Diego, Calif.) round out the newcomers for NM State. 

Last Season: Under the helm of first-year head coach, Mark Trakh, the Aggies finished the 2011-12 season with a 6-24 overall season record. This left NM State with a 3-11 Western Athletic Conference record. The Aggies made an appearance at the WAC Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. (3/7). The Aggies were seeded eighth in the tournament but were quickly booted out by No. 1 66-58 State.

Senior guard Tabitha Wampler was the most recent Aggie to join the 1,000 Point Club with a career 1,254 points (2008-12). She joins former teammates Danisha Corbett and Madison Spence along with Aggie great Anita Maxwell (2,601) and Andrea Kabwasa (1,788).

Another highlight for the Aggies in 2011-12 was coach Trakh coaching his 500th game of his career as a Division I head coach. In his 17th year on the sidelines, the floor general notched the milestone against Hawai'i in Las Cruces Feb. 16.

Preseason Accolades: The Western Athletic Conference coaches and media picked NM State to finish eighth and ninth in their respective preseason polls, and senior guard Stefanie Gilbreath was named an All-WAC preseason pick.

The Aggies were picked sixth in last season's preseason polls. NM State finished 6-24 overall and 3-11 in the conference to place eighth. The eighth-place rank gave the Aggies a tough battle against top-ranked Fresno State in the 2012 WAC Championships. The Bulldogs defeated the Aggies 66-58, knocking NM State out of the tournament.

Reigning first team All-WAC honoree Christensen was voted Preseason Player of the Year and is the on the preseason All-WAC first team. Joining her on the first team is Alyssa Charlston of Idaho, Louisiana Tech's Whitney Frazier, Diamond Ford of Texas State and Seattle U's Kacie Sowell. 

Historical Season:

-- The 2012-13 season marks the 40th season of Aggie women's basketball. The first season was 1973-74. 

-- This season also marks 25 years since the Aggies last NCAA tournament appearance.  The 1987-88 team was the last in program history to receive an NCAA berth. 

Potential Milestone: With 12 total wins this season, NM State will make its 600th victory in program history. With the current 9-7 record, the Aggies sit at 596-531 all time.

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