BAKERSFIELD, CALIF. -- The New Mexico State women’s basketball team fell 86-63 to the Bakersfield Roadrunners on Thursday, Jan. 30. The Aggies move to 6-14 on the season and 3-4 in Western Athletic conference play.
NM State shot 31 percent on the night with sophomore Abby Scott leading the team with 19 points. Also helping the Aggies was junior Danesia Williamson and sophomore Sasha Weber, who had 15 and 12 points, respectively. Freshman Moriah Mack led defensively with eight rebounds, while fellow freshman Tyler Ellis had seven.
The Aggies allowed the Runners to shoot 35-of-66 on the night, good for 53 percent shooting. NM State did see 15 second-chance points go in and scored 16 points off turnovers, but still turned over the ball 11 times.
“I thought we played hard in the first half,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “We just can’t give up that many points and let teams go on runs like we did in the second half. Now we just move forward and have to focus on Utah Valley.”
The teams drove up and down the floor in the first several minutes until just under the 15-minute mark when Mack hit a pair of free throws to put the aggies up 11-10. The Aggies controlled the ball with the next six points for a 17-10 lead over the Runners.
Bakersfield sank the next two, but the Aggies held onto the lead as Scott hit a jump shot from inside the paint and sophomore Bradley Nash sank both of her free shots.
Mack sank a three from the right side to put the Aggies up 25-18, but the Roadrunners kept things close, getting within one of NM State with just under five minutes left on the clock. Bakersfield took the lead briefly with a long three, but NM State got back on top with a timely shot from the top of the key by Scott followed by a three.
The teams were tied going into halftime as Bakersfield scored six points in the final two minutes and Scott hit another three to knot things up at 35 apiece.
Scott led the way with 15 points at the half, helping NM State to shoot 34 percent as a team. She was 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Ellis led defensively with five offensive rebounds and six total in the half. The Roadrunners shot 52 percent as a team in the opening period and the teams traded the lead six times in the opening 20 minutes.
Scott and Weber each hit three’s to open the second half, giving the Aggies a 41-35 lead. Bakersfield scored seven in the next couple minutes and NM State had just a layup from Williamson but kept a small lead 45-42 before Williamson drove in for another layup and hit one of her free shots.
The Runners went on a 16-0 spurt to take the lead away from NM State by 10 points. Redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin broke up the run with a pair from the line. The Roadrunners did not falter and continued to make it a 24-2 run to lead the Aggies 68-52 before Mack and Weber got the Aggies back in motion.
The Roadrunners scored their next eight points before Weber hit her second three of the game. For the next several minutes, NM State and the Runners exchanged baskets, but the Aggies could not regain momentum to catch the Runners.
The Aggies now travel to Orem, Utah to face Utah Valley on Saturday, Feb. 1. Game time is set for 2 p.m. with the pregame call beginning at 1:45 on KSNM AM570 in Las Cruces.