WAC Tournament Update
The No. 5 NM State defeated No. 4 UTPA in a second-half comeback to advance to the semifinals game of the 2014 WAC Tournament. Junior Danesia Williamson tallied a career-high 37 points and sophomore Sasha Weber picked up her third career double-double in the 86-74 win. NM State moves to 11-19 on the year and UTPA finishes its season 14-16.
The Aggies entered the second half down by 12 points and trailed by as many as 14 but tough defensive and great shooting pushed the team to victory. The Aggies were down 54-40 with 2 minutes and 10 seconds into the second half but went on a 15-1 scoring run to tie the game at 55-55 with 14:08 left in the second half. NM State took its first lead when freshman Brandee Walton put in a lay-up making it a 57-55 ballgame.
NM State surged for a 14-4 run, which included a 3-pointer from sophomore Abby Scott to take a 71-59 advantage with 8:59 left in regulation. The Aggies would hold on from that point forward to pick up the win and head to the semifinals taking on No. 1 seed Idaho at 1 p.m. (MT) on Friday, March 14.
Weber finished the afternoon with 19 points and 10 rebounds while adding two assists in 36 minutes of play. The Aggies as a team ended with a 43.1 percent field goal percentage after going 50 percent from the field in the second half. NM State out-rebounded the Broncs 47-45 with five Aggies marking five or more boards.
Records in the Tournament
Junior Danesia Williamson set a new school record for most free throws in a single game when she went 17-of-19 from the line. Williamson’s 17 free throws also breaking a 35-year-old school record for free throws in a game. The previous record of 16 was held by Caron Krueger and set back in 1979. The free-throw mark is also a tournament record.
The Williamson’s 37 points were just three points short of the NM State single-game record of 40 points, which was set by Aggie great Anita Maxwell against UC Irvine in 1995. It was a season high for the junior and takes the second-place spot in the record book. Her previous high of 36 is ties at the No. 3 spot with teammate Abby Scott. Williamson was also just seven points shy of the WAC record for single-game scoring.
Condolences for Head Coach Mark Trakh
The New Mexico State Athletics Department extends its sincere condolences to women’s basketball head coach Mark Trakh, on the passing of his mother, late Tuesday evening. Coach Trakh will not be with his team at the 2014 WAC Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. Assistant coach Tamara Inoue will step in as acting head coach.
The department asked that the family’s privacy be respected during this time. Fans wishing to send their well wishes to Coach Trakh can do so by sending those to the address below.
c/o Becky Veitch
New Mexico State University
Pan American Center
1810 E. University Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001
About the Aggies
NM State is 11-19 this season and led by first team All-WAC honoree Danesia Williamson. Averaging 21.2 points a game this season, Williamson has five 30-plus point games to her name, including a career-high performance of 37 in the win over UTPA on Wednesday. The Aggies shoot 39 percent as a team and average 40 rebounds a game. Sophomore Sasha Weber averages just over 13 points a game. Defensively it is freshman Tyler Ellis that leads with 6.6 boards a game.
Aggies in the WAC Tournament
In the Trakh era, NM State is 2-2 in the WAC Tournament. In 2012, NM State went one-and-done, but came back to surprise people in 2013 by winning the play-in game and making a quarterfinals appearance against Seattle U. NM State led SU in the first half of that game, the team fell 77-53 to the No. 1 seeded Redhawks.
About No. 1 Seed Idaho
The Vandals ran through the regular conference season with a 15-1 record. The team was 23-8 all season and saw Stacey Barr named Player of the Year and head coach Jon Newlee named Coach of the Year. In conference play, the Vandals shot 43.5 percent, while holding their opponents to 32.5 percent.
Barr has led the team, averaging 19.7 points a game and starting all 16 WAC games. She is shooting 44 percent from the floor and putting up 8.6 boards a game. That also leads the Vandals defensively, but Ali Forde is also grabbing big numbers with 7.9 a game.
Idaho in the Tournament
Idaho ran past Chicago State in dominating fashion in the first round of the tournament with an 84-43 win. That set the team up for a six-game winning streak heading into the semifinals game with the Aggies. Five players scored in double figures with Christina Salvatore leading the way with 18. The team caused 15 turnovers and finished shooting 53 percent to CSU’s 30 percent. Idaho led CSU 54-16 at the half.
NM State vs. Idaho
Meeting 32 times in program history, Idaho holds a 23-9 record over the Aggies, which includes the two regular-season meetings. The Vandals handed NM State a 79-51 loss in Moscow early in WAC play before making the trip to NM State and battling for the 75-66 win. NM State led 31-26 at half of the second game and saw Williamson score her then-career high 33 points.
NM State vs. Grand Canyon Media Coverage
Live Audio: KSNM AM570 with Jay Sanderson or NMStateSports.com (subscription)
Live Video: www.WACSports.tv (Championship game to be aired on ESPN3.com)
Live Stats: www.NMStateSports.com (click on Audio/Video link)
Staying Connected #AggieUp
Want to stay connected with Aggie Athletics when you can’t make it to the Pan Am? Follow us on Twitter @NMStateAthletics and on Facebook at “NMSU Athletics” for the most up-to-date info on the games going on. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #AggieUp to get linked into the conversation.
Looking Back: Final Regular Season Game
NM struggled from 3-point range, shooting just 2-of-25 in the 66-55 loss to Grand Canyon to end the regular season, but saw junior Danesia Williamson score 28 on Thursday. The final game of the regular season brings the Aggies to 10-19 overall and 7-9 in league play heading into the WAC Tournament.
Williamson was 10-of-28 from the floor to lead NM State and all scorers in the game. She also tallied two assists, three steals and a block with seven rebounds. Freshman Brianna Freeman also helped out with 10 points and nine boards while finishing 5-of-9 on the night.
The Aggies shot 32 percent as a team and allowed the Antelopes to shoot 41 percent. NM State was narrowly out-rebounded by GCU 44-43, but held the Lopes with just two players scoring in double figures. The Aggies won the points off turnovers 14-8, while the teams evenly matched with 32 points in the paint.
NM State WAC Play
The Aggies went 7-9 in conference play for the 2013-2014 season. They hit at 37.6 percent from the field with a -1.2 scoring margin. Adding 221 total assists, NM State averages 13.8 assists per game and 41.2 rebounds per game.
The team is led by junior guard Danesia Williamson with 343 points averaging 21.4 points per game and assists with 78 on the season. Freshman forward Tyler Ellis leads in rebounds and field goals averaging 7.4 rebounds per game and hitting 56.4 percent from the field going 22-for-39 in conference play.
Around the WAC
Finishing the WAC with a 7-9 record, the Aggies are preparing for the WAC tournament where they received a fifth seed and will play the fourth seed, Texas-Pan American, 8-8 in WAC play. The Aggies split the season with Texas-Pan American, going 1-1.
Leading the Aggies is Danesia Williamson who is sitting third in the WAC in points per game with 21.4. Williamson also is second in assists per game with 4.88 and second in steals with 1.75 a game.
Sasha Weber leads the Aggies in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting .374 percent from beyond the arc. NM State is first in the WAC in 3-point field goals made with 256 on the season and fifth in 3-point percentage, shooting 41.2 percent. Weber is also third in the league for 3-pointers made, recording 46 on the season, while Abby Scott sits at second on the list, hitting 47 deep balls in WAC play.
The Aggies are third in scoring offense in the WAC, putting up 73.9 points a game. Helped by their rebounding offense, NM State is sitting at fourth on the list averaging 41.2 points off of 12.9 offensive rebounds a game, which is fourth in the WAC. On defense, the Aggies are third in the WAC in blocked shots, averaging 2.88 a game with 46 in WAC play.
Williamson Named First Team All-WAC
Junior guard Danesia Williamson was named to the All-WWAC first team, the league office announced Monday, March 10. The postseason awards were voted on by the WAC’s nine head coaches.
Williamson, a San Diego, Calif., native leads the team with an average of 20.5 points a game. She has played and started in 20 games this season and scored 30-plus points in four of those contests. She scored in double figures in all but one game this year and shot 37 percent from the floor during league play.
She posted a pair of career highs in scoring against Idaho and Seattle U late in conference play. She scored 33 against the Vandals and then reestablished a career high of 36 just two days later versus the Redhawks.
She ranks third in the conference in scoring through league games with 21.4 points a game and averages 4.9 assists, which is second in the WAC. She received WAC Player of the Week accolades twice this season and picked up a double-double in the overtime win against Utah Valley with 13 points and 11 assists.
Williamson is joined on the first-team list by Idaho’s Stacey Barr, Tyonna Outland of Bakersfield, Kaitlyn Peterson of Grand Canyon and Kacie Sowell from Seattle U.
Player to Watch
Sophomore guard Sasha Weber has started in all 29 games the Aggies have played. Averaging 13.5 points per game, Weber has recorded season-high 22 points twice throughout the 2013-2014 season.
Her best game came against Chicago State on Feb. 15 where she went 7-of-11 from the field with a 63.6 field goal percentage on the game. Weber hit 5-of-8 from the arc and 5-of-7 from the line. She averaged 5.2 rebounds and contributed 19 points against the Cougars.
On the season, Weber averages 5.4 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game. She totals 391 points on the season, shooting 42.8 percent from the field and 35.8 from the arc. For free throws, Weber hit 72.2 percent on the line.
Williamson’s 2x Career Week
The junior from San Diego, Calif., posted a pair of career highs in the 1-1 week against Idaho (2/6) and Seattle U (2/8). She scored a career-high 33 points in the Aggies loss to Idaho on Thursday, which was half the team’s total points. She had five rebounds, three assists and a steal in the nine-point loss to the WAC-leading Vandals. Williamson turned around on Saturday to reestablish a career best with 36 points, while going 14-of-16 from the line, and finished the game with three assists and two steals in the 86-81 win over defending WAC champion Seattle U.
She ended the week averaging 34.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and was 20-of-23 from the line, good for 87 percent. She now has four 30-point games on the season and leads the conference in scoring through league games.
WAC Player of the Week
NM State has seen two WAC Player of the Week nods this season. The first came after sophomore Abby Scott’s record setting performance in the win over Chicago State (1/17). She hit 11 3-pointers and scored 36 points.
Junior Danesia Williamson was recognized by the conference after a pair of career-high games against Idaho (2/6) and Seattle U (2/8) at home. She scored 33 points against the Vandals and then matched Scott’s career-best performance with 36 points in the win over Seattle U.
Scott Stamps Record Book
Scott was 11-of-20 from 3-point range, which surpasses Hall of Fame member Mari Sanchez’s 10 made 3-pointers from back in 2002 against Louisiana-Lafayette and sets her atop the NM State record book. Scott scored 36 points, which was the first 30-point game from an Aggie since Danisha Corbett in Jan. 2011. She is now tied for third in the Aggie record book for most points in a game. The 11 3-pointers also break the WAC record for most in a single game.
Her 20 attempts from beyond the arc are the most by any Aggie in a single game. That record was also held by Sanchez with 17 attempts against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Along with stamping her name in the NM State and WAC record books, Scott is now tied with eight others in the NCAA record book for the third most three’s scored in a single game. The record is 12 and was hit twice; most recently by Brittany Rayburn of Purdue in Jan. 2012.
New Records for Scott:
NCAA 3-point FG made in a Game 11-T3rd (vs. Chicago State 1/16/14)
WAC 3-point FG made in a Game 11-1st (vs. Chicago State 1/16/14)
WAC 3-point FG Attempts 20-1st (vs. Chicago State 1/16/14)
NM State 3-point FG made in a Game 11-1st (vs. Chicago State 1/16/14)
NM State 3-point FG Attempts 20-1st (vs. Chicago State 1/16/14)
NM State **Most Points in a Game 36-T3rd (vs. Chicago State 1/16/14)
**Scott is not tied with teammate Danesia Williamson with 36 points. Williamson also holds the second spot on the list with 37 points. The current record is 40 points, set by Hall of Famer Anita Maxwell in 1995.
NM State has seen three earn double-doubles this season. Freshman Brianna Freeman started things off with a double game against Milwaukee with 15 points and 10 rebounds. She and sophomore Sasha Weber both collected double-doubles in the WAC opener against Grand Canyon. Most recently, it was junior Danesia Williamson with 13 points and 11 assists in the overtime win at Utah Valley.
Williamson has three career double-doubles, each combining points and assists.
NM State has two players pulling double duty this year. Freshman Audra Jones and sophomore Bradley Nash are suiting up for the first time this season with the NM State women’s basketball program just after finishing a season with the 2013 WAC Champion Aggie volleyball team.
The Aggies, starting two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior newcomer, are among the youngest starting lineups in the country. Here is a list of the five youngest teams in the NCAA:
UMBC (Maryland-Baltimore County): 3 Freshmen and 2 Sophomores
Boise State: 2 Freshmen and 3 sophomores
NM State: 2 Freshmen and 2 Sophomores, 1 Junior
Abilene Christian: 3 Freshmen, 1 Sophomore, 1 Senior
Oregon State: 1 Freshman, 3 Sophomores, 1 Junior
The Aggies ended the 2012-13 season with a 15-16 overall record and 7-11 in WAC play. The season was highlighted by wins over defending Conference USA champion UTEP (69-68) and WAC-leading Utah State (106-94) late in the season. NM State ended the year with a second round loss to top-seeded Seattle U in the WAC Tournament. NM State went into the tournament as the eighth seed and fell 77-53.
The Aggies were selected to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference media and coaches’ preseason polls. Sophomore guard Sasha Weber was picked as a second-team selection in both polls. This comes after being noted as the top returner for the Aggies with 24 starts and 8.5 points per contest.
Coming in 2014-15
Head coach Mark Trakh announced the signing of three players to the 2014-15 New Mexico State women’s basketball team in November. Tyesha Taylor, Jasmine Cooper and Alisha Washington each signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Aggies next fall.
Taylor, a 6-4 junior from Temple High School in Temple, Texas, is a top-10 player in her home state. She suffered a knee injury, keeping her off the court her final nine games of the 2013 season, but still managed to help THS to a 24-8 season record.
Cooper, a 5-11 forward from Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas, helped her team to a 36-5 overall record as a junior and was named second team all-district. She averaged 5.7 rebounds a game for the Tigers in her two seasons on varsity and had 70 steals during the 2012-13 season.
Washington, a 5-8 guard, is also from Lincoln High School in Dallas, Texas and is the teammate of her future Aggie teammate, Cooper. Washington averaged 18.1 points per game and 2.9 assists her junior season. She is also listed as one of the Top 20 players of out Texas and earned all-tournament accolades, first team all-district and was named most valuable player for her league.