LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- The New Mexico State women’s basketball game overcame a slow first half to defeat the Texas Pan American Broncs 83-71 on Thursday in the Pan American Center. The Aggies improve to 10-16 on the season and 7-6 in Western Athletic Conference play.
The Aggies ended the game shooting 33 percent for the game and shot 47 percent from three-point range. The team was led by junior Danesia Williamson, who scored 22 points on the night, 20 of those points coming in the second half.
Freshman Moriah Mack and sophomores Sasha Weber and Abby Scott finished in double-digits, scoring 16, 15, 11 points, respectively.
NM State also outrebounded Texas Pan American 48-47 and were led by Mack who grabbed 10 rebounds in the game.
“Moriah Mack was the difference in this game,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “She got us going with her energy and her fire. She played good and I think our defense was really good.”
The Aggies were held without a point for the first 2:48 of the game before Williamson hit a layup to bring the score to 2-4 early on in the game.
The slow start continued as Texas Pan American started the game with a 11-3 run before Mack hit the second field goal of the game for the Aggies, a three from the right corner to bring the score to 11-6.
Redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin followed up with a three of her own, bringing the score to 11-9 with 12:04 left in the first half.
Weber hit two consecutive 3-pointers to give the Aggies their first lead and added to the team’s 18-4 run that saw NM State up 21-15 before Texas Pan American scored again.
The Broncs answered with a 14-4 run that put them back on top 29-25 with 2:29 left in the first half before sophomore Abby Scott hit a pair of free throws.
The teams traded buckets over the next two minutes with the Aggies failing to retake the lead and trailed 32-28 going into halftime.
The Aggies shot 19 percent from the field in the first half and were led in scoring by Scott with eight. Weber led NN State with six rebounds, including two offensive boards, at the half.
Defensively, the Aggies allowed the Broncs to shoot 36 percent from the field and three-point range. NM State was outrebounded 33-21 in the first 20 minutes.
Scott hit an early 3-pointer in the second half to give the Aggies a 36-34 lead. Texas Pan American tied the game up before Williamson made a three from the top to put NM State up 39-36.
The Aggies opened up the scoring in the second half and led the Broncs 52-45 with 11:51 left in the game. Williamson led NM State with 14 points scored in the second half after scoring only two points in the first.
The Broncs closed in on the Aggies and brought the deficit down to two, but the Aggies scored eight consecutive points, capped off by a Mack three to give NM State its first double-digit lead of the game, 65-55 with 6:50 left to play.
The Broncs once again cut the Aggies’ lead down to three points before Mack hit a jumper from the left side to keep the Aggies ahead 75-69 with just over a minute left.
With 50.5 seconds left in the game, Weber was sent to the free throw line, where she hit one of two to keep the Aggies up by seven points. She then earned a steal and hit a layup to give the Aggies a 78-69 lead with under a minute to play.
Williamson capped off her 21-point night by hitting two free throws which sealed the victory over the Broncs 81-73.
The Aggies will be back in action at home on Feb. 27, when they take welcome Utah Valley to the Pan American Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. on AggieVision.