EDINBURG, TEXAS – After a commanding first half, the New Mexico State women’s basketball team eventually fell 66-61 to Texas Pan American on Saturday, Jan. 25. NM State moves to 6-13 on the year and 3-3 in Western Athletic Conference play.
NM State ended the game shooting 32 percent from the floor and 33 percent from 3-point range. The team was led by junior Danesia Williamson with a career-matching 30 points. The junior also had four rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Sasha Weber scored 17 on the night, while grabbing six boards. It was freshman Tyler Ellis and sophomore Abby Scott that led defensively with 13 and seven rebounds, respectively.
The Aggies held UTPA to 30 percent shooting, but allowed the Broncs to out-rebound the Aggies 54-45. NM State caused 14 turnovers and finished the game with two blocks and two assists.
Scott started things off with a three, but the teams traded the few baskets early in the game with just an 8-7 lead after the first five minutes of the game. The Aggies went on a 13-1 run over the Broncs until just under the 12-minute mark when UTPA hit two 3-pointers to make it a 21-14 game.
NM State scored nine of the next 14 points with seven of those coming from Williamson. UTPA scored the next six, but not without a 3-minute scoring drought. The Aggies also struggled to find the basket and had not scored since the 7:26 mark when Williamson and redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin hit the long shots for nine straight points and a 39-25 advantage with just over two and a half minutes left in the half.
The Broncs got within 10 of the Aggies before the clock ran out on the half with a pair of good free throws and a three, but NM State maintained a 41-33 lead going into the intermission.
Williamson had a dominating opening half with 24 points, going 6-of-7 from 3-point range and grabbing four rebounds. She helped NM State shoot 41 percent as a team and 45 percent from beyond the arc. Weber had five rebounds and seven points and Scott led defensively with 10 rebounds.
NM State allowed UTPA to get within one early in the second half with eight straight points, but a three by Weber gave the Aggies a 4-point gap. After a three by Scott, the teams were scoreless for the next few minutes. Layups by Williamson and sophomore Bradley Nash broke the Aggies scoring drought and the teams traded points as the Aggies held a 52-47 lead on the other side of the media timeout.
The teams exchanged points until UTPA hit three consecutive shots to tie the score at 59 apiece with 5:24 to play. Williamson got the Aggies back ahead with a jump shot from the left side, but the lead did not last long as the Broncs scored the next five to take the lead.
Williamson’s bucket was the last that NM State would sink in the game, while UTPA took over with the final six points of the game to defeat the Aggies 66-61.
The Aggies look to wrap the first half of conference play with road games against Bakersfield and Utah Valley. NM State meets the Roadrunners on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m., and then makes the trip to Orem, Utah to face the Wolverines at 3 p.m. on Feb. 1. Fans can listen to the live broadcast with Jay Sanderson on KSNM AM570.