San Louis Obispo, Calif. – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team fell 72-64 to Cal Poly in San Louis Obispo, Calif., on Monday night. The Aggies move to 1-3 this season before heading back home to host Eastern New Mexico on Thursday.
Redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin saw a career-high 19 points to her name, marking her first game as an Aggie to score in double figures. She was 6-9 from the field and 6-7 from beyond the three-point mark and finished the game with three defensive rebounds. Sophomore Sasha Weber came up with 12 points on the night, while freshman Vanessa Garner had 10.
Freshman Tyler Ellis led NM State defensively with five boards, but the Aggies were out-rebounded by Cal Poly 50-31 on the game. The Aggies shot 39 percent from the floor and a successful 40.7 percent from the three-point line.
The Aggies got off to a slow start in the first half, but hung with the Mustangs, allowing no more than a five point lead in the opening period. Cal Poly scored first, but a three by Weber gave NM State an early 3-2 lead. The Mustangs regained the lead quickly and held on to it for most of the half.
The teams traded baskets early in the half with Cal Poly staying ahead, but Holguin hit seven points in a row off a free throw and a pair of three’s with just over 11 minutes to play in the half. She helped the Aggies close the gap and get within one point of the Mustangs (17-16).
It was not until the final five minutes of the period that the Aggies reclaimed the lead off a pair of three pointers by Garner. The long shots gave the Aggies a 27-25 lead with just four minutes on the clock, but Cal Poly knotted the score with a jump shot by season scoring leader Jonae Ervin.
NM State used the final minutes of the period to stay ahead of the Mustangs and run out the clock with a 33-31 advantage. Layups by junior transfer September Offutt and Garner helped NM State in the final minutes and a jump shot by freshman Moriah Mack sealed the lead with just six seconds on the clock.
Garner led the Aggies with eight points in the opening period and Holguin was just behind with seven of her own. The Aggies shot 44.8 percent from the floor at the half and 50 percent from beyond the arc. No player from either team was scoring in double digits, but Cal Poly out-rebounded the Aggies 24-16 at the intermission.
The second half proved more productive for the Aggies, but was not enough to pull ahead of the Mustangs. With a 9-2 run to start the second half, Cal Poly pulled ahead of NM State early after the break.
NM State allowed the Mustangs to outscore them 26-11 in the first ten minutes of the half. Holguin hit back-to-back three-point shots to kick start some success for the Aggies. Weber hit a three and Mack sank two from the line, but NM State was still trailing by nine with more than five minutes to go.
NM State had 10 points in the final 10 minutes, while the Mustangs sank just six to end the game with a 72-64 loss for the Aggies.
NM State trailed by as many as 15 in the game, but held on with successful shooting from Holguin and Weber to end the game with an eight point deficit.
The Aggies host Eastern New Mexico on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Pan American Center. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.