LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Nov. 2) - The New Mexico State Aggies picked up their first win, 80-73, in the season-opening exhibition against Fort Lewis on Friday evening in the Pan American Center.
Stefanie Gilbreath led the Aggies with 26 points in just 26 minutes on the court. The senior transfer from USC was 2-for-3 on three pointers and worked for four rebounds.
The Aggies got off to a slow start in the first half with the Skyhawks breaking away with an early lead. It was work at the line by Shay Young that closed the gap for the Aggies late in the first half. Young was four-for-four at the line, bringing her total to 10 points on the night with four rebounds. Fellow freshman, Abby Scott, followed that up with a three for the Aggies; giving 38-35 lead with less than one minute left in the first half. The Aggies maintained that lead through the first half of play.
"Once we calmed down, I was really pleased with the way we played," head coach Mark Trakh said. "Our freshmen were not afraid, they had no fear and that was impressive. We played everyone this game and that was important."
The second half started with Gilbreath opened the half with eight back-to-back points with two of her four three-pointers of the night. The Aggies continued early in the second, going on an eight-point run before the Skyhawks scored on a layup.
A run by the Skyhawks in the middle of the second half tightened the score, but it was not enough to hold back the Aggies. NM State powered through the second half with 13 second chance points. Denesia Williamson opened up late in the game to earn 13 second-half points, six of those from the line.
Senior Kelsie Rozendaal proved to be the force under the goal for the Aggies. She finished the game with eight total rebounds, seven of those on the defensive side of the ball.
The Aggies open up the regular season on Monday, Nov. 12, against Loyola Marymount at 6:30 p.m. at the Pan American Center.