EL PASO, TEXAS (Dec. 5) - The New Mexico State Aggies gave up an early lead and could not dig their way out of the deficit, resulting in a 66-44 loss to UTEP at the Don Haskins Center on Wednesday Night.
Senior Malia Magazzeni started things off for the Aggies with the opening field goal, but NM State struggled to build off the early points. The Aggies took care of business at the free throw line early with freshman Sasha Weber sinking two from the line followed by another free bucket from Elena Holguin. Points from the line were the only thing keeping the Aggies in the game during the opening half with a free shot by Rutledge to make the score 36-14 going into the intermission.
"It's tough when you don't have Stefanie (Gilbreath) and Kelsie (Rozendaal) on the court to help out," head coach Mark Trakh said. "But we expect everyone to come out and contribute. Everyone has to play hard."
Weber opened the second period for NM State with two points before Danesia Williamson earned the next five points for the Aggies off a layup and some free shots. Williamson then picked up the first three pointer for the Aggies on the night with 15:08 to play before Elena Holguin sank a three of her own to push the Aggies to 29 points.
Williamson collected 13 points on the night with two field goals and one three pointer. She was 6-for-6 at the line with four rebounds. Jasmine Rutledge finished the game with 11 points on the evening and compiled nine points at the line to mark a new career best for the junior.
"We have 13 days to focus on making improvements and preparing for New Mexico and we'll use every one of those days," Trakh said. "I think we came back and made some better decisions in the second half. I'm not worried about this team. One thing about this group is they just do not quit."
The Aggies take 13 days to prepare for the second game of the season versus New Mexico. The Lobos meet NM State at the Pan American Center on Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m.