OREM, UTAH – In the first win on the road, the New Mexico State women’s basketball team picked up an 83-78 overtime win over Utah Valley on Saturday, Feb. 1. The Aggies improve to 4-4 in the Western Athletic Conference and 7-14 on the season.
Sophomore Sasha Weber finished the day with a career-high 22 points, while freshman Brianna Freeman also had a career-high 16 points in the win. NM State also saw junior Danesia Williamson with her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 assists. Sophomore Abby Scott also helped out with 15 points.
“We never gave up and we stuck with it,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “Our young kids did some great things and this was a huge win for us. I am so proud of these kids. This was good for us to win on the road. They did a great job.”
Helping the Aggies out in the game was newcomer Bradley Nash with seven points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Her rebounds and blocks are both career highs for the redshirt sophomore.
NM State finished shooting 44 percent as a team and UVU shot 47 percent. NM State beat the Wolverines in the paint 46-36 and had 17 bench points.
UVU started with a 7-0 lead on the Aggies before Scott put NM State on the board with a jumper just under the basket. Williamson hit the next two layups for the Aggies as UVU held an 11-6 lead.
The Wolverines extended their lead to 10 points with a three from the left side of the arc. Weber got on the board for the first time with a layup from the right edge, but UVU answered back quickly to extend the lead to a 12-point margin. Weber and redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin helped NM State cut the deficit to six with 10:46 on the clock.
Utah Valley took the next four points, but NM State was able to cause a turnover and make for an easy layup by Weber. She hit two more three’s to tie the game at 29 apiece with just under six minutes to play.
UVU found its way back on top by as many as seven but Freeman and Nash brought the Aggies back within two in the final three minutes of the half. In the final seconds, UVU brought the score to 40-34 but NM State ended the half down just three after a long ball from Weber.
At the half, NM State was shooting 42 percent as a team, while UVU shot 48 percent. Weber led with 13 points and Scott was not far behind with 11, going 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Nash was holding things together defensively with six rebounds and three blocks.
NM State started with a jumper to get within one of the Wolverines, but the next eight points came from Utah Valley to extend its lead 51-41 early in the half.
The teams traded buckets with UVU keeping the margin around 10 points until Freeman and Weber hit the next two for NM State to get back within six. Baskets sank on both sides of the court until just over five minutes were left on the clock. Weber hit a jump shot and a three from the right corner to start an 11-2 Aggie run to tie the game at 63.
NM State kept things tied up for the next couple minutes until an Aggie foul sent the Wolverines to the line, which put the Aggies back down by two. Freeman drove in for a layup with just 28 second on the clock to force the NM State’s first overtime game this season.
The Aggies took their first lead of the game with the first bucket of the overtime period with shots by Williamson and Freeman for a 71-69 lead. NM State kept control during the extra period, but UVU kept things interesting with a long-ball three to get within one point.
In the final seconds of the period, Williamson finished the game with five free baskets, giving NM State its five-point win.
NM State gets back to the Pan American Center for a pair of home games after three road games to start the second half of WAC play. First, the Aggies welcome Idaho live on AggieVision at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6. NM State then hosts Seattle U to close out the two-game series on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m.