LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State women’s basketball team got back to the Pan American Center with an 82-61 win over Western Athletic Conference opponent Chicago State. The night saw sophomore Abby Scott highlighted with a career-high 36 points and a new record for 3-pointers in a single game.
“I am really proud of the team tonight,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “They all played well and we did some really good things tonight. I am very proud of Abby (Scott), she got the school record and you, know, this is the way that she can play. We are not expecting 36 points and 11 three’s every night, but I think she can be someone that goes 4-of-9 on any given night and that’s what we want. She was fired up tonight and she had a great game.”
Scott was 11-for-20 on the night from 3-point range, which surpasses Hall of Fame member Mari Sanchez’s 10 made 3-pointers from back in 2002. Scott scored 36 points, which was good for the first 30-point game from an Aggie since Danisha Corbett during the 2010-11 season. She now sits tied for third in the Aggie record book for most points in a game.
Scott was not the only Aggie to hit a high note. Junior Danesia Williamson had 21 points and eight rebounds, helping the team to out-rebound the Cougars 49-46. Sophomore Sasha Weber finished the night with 12 points and the newest addition to the roster, sophomore Bradley Nash, finished her first game in a basketball uniform with four points, six rebounds and two blocks.
As a team, NM State shot 39.7 percent from the floor and from beyond the 3-point line. The team banked in 18 second-chance points and had 22 points in the paint. NM State defense held Chicago State to a 35.2 team-shooting percentage and just 21.1 percent from 3-point range. The teams were evenly matched with 12 turnovers apiece.
After matching the first few points, NM State took off on a 16-point run that included four 3-point shots in-a-row to make the score 20-7. Chicago state broke up the run with 3-pointer and the teams continued to exchange baskets with NM State keeping a steady lead.
With NM State up 33-16 with just 8:40 on the clock in the half, CSU hit the next 15 points to pull within two of the Aggies. NM State gave up the large margin, but not the lead as Williamson hit a jumper from the right side and Scott sank one of her many 3-pointers of the night to stay ahead of the Cougars.
NM State ended the half with a 44-36 lead over CSU as Scott hit her seventh 3-pointer of the night at the halftime buzzer.
The Aggies shot 39.5 percent as a team in the opening half with Scott matching her season high of 21 points. She went 7-for-10 from 3-point range. Williamson had 11 points in the opening half and led the Aggies with five rebounds. The Aggies let Chicago State shoot a 45.5 team percentage, but held the team to just 27 percent from beyond the arc.
NM State kept the lead into the second half with two layups by Williamson and two free throws by Weber to hold a 52-38 lead. CSU hit nine consecutive after that, but Scott answered back with a pair of three’s and a jumper of her own with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
The teams traded possession for the ball for the next couple of minutes, but as NM State went up 68-55 the Aggies hit three shots before allowing Chicago State to score again.
The Aggie defense allowed CSU to score just six points in the final seven minutes, two coming from the free-throw line. NM State sealed the game with two more three’s by Scott and a layup by Williamson to cap off the 82-61 victory.
NM State continues at the Pan American Center to host Kansas City at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18. The NM State Alumni will be honored at halftime and will play an Alumni Game at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the Pan Am, which is free and open to the public.