NM State goes Toe to Toe with Seattle U and Idaho
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  01/08/2013

This Week: This week on the bill for the Aggies are two home games beginning with Seattle on Jan. 10 and Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 12. A win on Thursday against Seattle would tie the Aggies for first place in the WAC going into the weekend. Both games are slated for a 6:30 p.m. start and will be available on AggieVision and ESPN3.com.

Call to Action: Head coach Mark Trakh is calling all Aggie fans out on Thursday against conference leader Seattle U to cheer the Aggies on to the top of the WAC. Tickets are $6 for Adults and as always, kids 12 and under are FREE. A group rate of $4 is available. Call the NM State ticket office at 575-646-1420.

Over the Airwaves: The Aggie Sports Network is producing 15 games on KSNM AM 570 this season, along with any contests in the post season with Jay Sanderson giving the play-by-play. Each of the Aggies road games along with those home games not aired on AggieVision will be available through KSNM.

All games aired on radio are produced by the Aggie Sports Network on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces. The broadcasts can also be heard from anywhere around the world on the Internet by logging onto www.NMStateSports.com.  Just click on the live events link to access the coverage for a fee.

Aggies on TV: The Aggies have two games televised this week on AggieVision. NM State's meeting against Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 10, along with Saturday's game versus Idaho are set to air on the NM State based network as well as ESPN3.com. A complete list of where to watch and other upcoming televised games can be found at www.AggieVision.tv. This week's games are available on Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Comcast Digital Cable and Dish Network. Check the following channels for listing: Altitude Sports, Fox Sports Arizona, ESPN Game Plan, ESPN Full Court or ESPN3. All games are also streamed on NMStateSports.com.

Live Stats on the Web:  Live stats will be available for fans at www.NMStateSports.com at no cost for the entire season.  Fans can click on the Live Events link at the top of the NMStateSports.com home page to access the live stats. Live stats for away games may direct fans to the opposing team's athletics page.

Getting Social:  Get all the updates of Aggie Athletics on Twitter and Facebook. Get in-game statistics and in-game updates on Twitter @NMStateAggies.  Find out about all Aggie Athletics promotions and events on Facebook (NMSU Athletics and The Aggie Student-Athlete).

The Looks

Looking Ahead: NM State continues WAC play with a two-game road trip starting with the Jan. 17 meeting with Utah State. The NM State Aggies then travel to San Jose State for a Saturday game set for 3 p.m. (MT). Both games can be heard on KSNM AM570 with Jay Sanderson making the call.

Looking Back: NM State went 3-0 on the week with two road wins against UTSA and Texas State. On Dec. 31, the Aggies collected their first win over Louisiana Tech after a nine-game losing streak to the Lady Techsters. NM State then came back for a dominating 69-52 win over the Roadrunners at UTSA before using the Aggie defense to outlast Texas State 61-58. Senior Kelsie Rozendaal and freshman Sasha Weber each collected a double-double in the win over the Bobcats, marking the first this season for the freshman and second for Rozendaal.

Aggie Country

About the Aggies: NM State continues with WAC play boasting a 9-5 overall record with 3-1 in league play. Currently on a three-game win streak, the Aggies shut down the WAC's leading scorer, Diamond Ford of Texas State, holding the senior to just six points. The Aggies started the year with a thrilling overtime win to Loyola Marymount before losing two on the road. The Aggies came back to win four in-a-row at home. NM State is averaging 58.7 points a game with a 34.9 team shooting percentage. Senior transfer Stefanie Gilbreath leads the Aggies with 14.7 points per game, while fellow senior Kelsie Rozendaal is averaging 6.8 rebounds a game, good for first on the team. Rozendaal still manages to average 9.2 points per game. Starting 12 games this season, Rozendaal leads the team with a 52.4 shooting percentage through her 13 games played. Sasha Weber is on top for the freshmen this season with 9.4 points per game. She is shooting best on the team from the line with 74.3 percent (26-35).

In the WAC: The Aggies went on a three-game winning streak on the second week of WAC play, giving the team a 3-1 start in conference. A win in the Aggies next game, against Seattle (4-0 WAC), would tie NM State for first in the conference going into the weekend. Gilbreath leads NM State with 18.3 points per game in conference play.

Road to Las Vegas:  Going into week three of conference play, the Aggies hold the highest overall winning percentage (.643) in the conference with a 9-5 record.

Home-Court Comfort: The Aggies are 6-2 in the Pan American Center this season. Prior to the Dec. 18 loss to Rio Grande Rival New Mexico, the Aggies boasted a perfect record at home. During the 2011-12 season, six of NM State's seven wins came at the Pan Am.

Weekly Standouts

Stefanie Gilbreath averaged 19.3 points on 45.8 percent shooting that included 47.4 percent shooting from the three-point range. Gilbreath notched 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists as the Aggies went 3-0 on the week. She led the team in scoring each of the three games and played a pivotal role in keeping the WAC leading scorer, Diamond Ford, to just six points in the 61-58 win over Texas State. The senior transfer's shot a stellar 5-7 from behind the three-point arc at UTSA while going 7-14 from the floor in the first two games of the week.

Sasha Weber earned her first double-double as an Aggie, helping the team to three straight conference wins last week. The freshman averaged 12.3 points on the week on a 44.8 field goal percentage and 37.5 percent from three-point range. On the season, Weber increased her scoring average to 9.4 points per game while collecting 51 total rebounds. She averages 3.6 rebounds per game with 18 coming in the last three games.

Double Doubles: Seniors Kelsie Rozendaal and Stefanie Gilbreath as well as freshman Sasha Weber have collected double-doubles this season in three games this season.

Gilbreath, Stefanie: 15 pts, 10 reb; UT Arlington, 12/29/12

Rozendaal, Kelsie: 22 pts, 11 reb; Loyola Marymount, 11/12/12

Rozendaal, Kelsie: 11 pts, 11 reb; at Texas State, 1/5/13

Weber, Sasha: 11 pts, 10 reb; at Texas State, 1/5/13

It's a Three-Point Game: The Aggies have started six games with a three pointer this season.

vs. George Mason W, 55-52 (Danesia Williamson)

vs. UC Irvine W, 50-44 (Sasha Weber)

vs. UTEP W, 69-68 (Sasha Weber)

at Southern Utah W, 70-68 (Stefanie Gilbreath)

vs. UT Arlington L, 62-59 (Abby Scott)

vs. LA Tech W, 71-67 (Abby Scott)

at UTSA W, 69-52 (Abby Scott)

at Texas State W, 61-58 (Stefanie Gilbreath)


About Seattle: Starting the season with an even 6-6 record, the Redhawks have worked to a stellar 3-0 start in WAC play. Powering through Idaho, Utah State and San Jose State so far, Kacie Sowell proves to be the strength of the team with 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds on average per game. Each of those numbers leads the Redhawks, but Sylvia Shephard and Ashley Ward also average points in the double digits. Sowell has averaged 16.7 points in the three conference games so far this season, helping the team to first in the WAC going into week three.

Series History versus the Redhawks: Thursday marks the first meeting between the Redhawks and the Aggies.

About Idaho: The Vandals have a 4-10 overall record with 1-2 in conference play. Starting WAC play with a 76-71 loss to Seattle U, the Vandals came back in week two to split against SJSU and Utah State. The big 82-65 win over San Jose State was not enough momentum to pull out a win over Utah State last week. Alyssa Charlston leads Idaho with 13.9 points per game, starting each game this season. It's Stacey Barr that stands out offensively for the Vandals in WAC play with an average of 17 points and a 54.3 shooting percentage.  

Series History versus the Vandals: Going into the Saturday tip-off with a 9-19 record against the Vandals, NM State used last year's home meeting as one of its three conference wins with a 61-47 victory in game one of the home-and-home series. Idaho claimed game two on its hardwood with an overtime 61-59 win in early February. The series dates back to 1982 when the Aggies lost in overtime 94-91 in Las Cruces.

 Trakh-ing Down No. 300

Head coach Mark Trakh picked up his 300th career win as a Division I head coach on Saturday, Dec. 1, against Southern Utah. The Aggies pulled off a last minute 70-68 defeat over the Thunderbirds, helping Trakh to earn the milestone victory. Currently, Trakh sits with a 302-216 career record.

Rivalry Rundown

UNM: The Lobos swept the Rio Grande Rivalry Series this season with a 60-37 win over the Aggies at The Pit on Nov. 20 and a 60-44 victory in Las Cruces on Dec. 18. In game one, the Aggies had trouble making shots, but kept the stats similar to the Lobos. The Aggies collected 44 rebounds on the evening with six assists and two blocks. The Lobos were quite similar to NM State with 43 boards, but tallied 16 assists on the evening.

Game two finished in similar fashion with the Lobos claiming a 60-44 victory over NM State at the Pan Am on Dec. 18. The loss at home marked the first of the 2012-13 season. Sasha Weber led the Aggies with 10 points and three rebounds on the evening. The Aggies shot 30.4 percent from the floor but tallied eight steals as a team with 27 rebounds. Those stats were not enough to hold off the Lobos who finished the game shooting 47.5 percent from the field and picking up 42 rebounds on the night.

UTEP: NM State took game one of the Battle of I-10 rivalry series with a late game battle to a 69-68 win over the Miners. UTEP maintained the lead throughout most of the game, gaining as much as a 15 point lead in the first half, but Stefanie Gilbreath finished her first Battle of I-10 game with a stellar 22 points to collect a regular-season career high. She went 5-for-8 on three pointers and picking up eight rebounds to match her career-high. Sophomore Danesia Williamson also picked up a career-high with 23 points on the game with a solid 10-of-12 at the line.

Game two was set to a different tune with the Miners running away early with the 66-44 win over NM State in El Paso. The Aggies struggled on offense, scoring just 14 points in the first half of play. The second half was a bit more positive as Williamson collected 13 points in the half 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.

Tournament Champs: The New Mexico State Aggies claimed the Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic tournament title with a stellar 50-44 win over UC Irvine on Saturday evening at the Pan American Center. The previous night, the Aggies claimed a 55-52 win over the Patriots of George Mason. With the 2-0 record on the tournament, NM State's Kelsie Rozendaal and Sasha Weber were named to the All-Tournament team. Rozendaal was also selected tournament MVP for her work on the hardwood.

Trakh Signs Five to NLI: Head coach Mark Trakh announces that five high school players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Aggies in the fall of 2013. Trakh is in his second season with NM State and has led the Aggies to a 1-0 start to the 2012-13 season.

Joining the Aggies in 2013 are Tamera Williams of Centennial High School (Las Vegas, Nev.), Brianna Freeman of Harker Heights High School (Killeen, Texas), Vanessa Garner of Archbishop Mitty High School (Milpitas, Calif.), Moriah Mack of Reagan High School (San Antonio, Texas), and Brandee Walton of St. Mary's High School (Phoenix, Az.)

Fresh Faces for Trakh: Head coach Mark Trakh brings on a slew of newcomers for the 2012-13 campaign. Among the new Aggies are transfers Stefanie Gilbreath and Denesia Williamson. Gilbreath joins the Aggie squad after spending four seasons with USC. Gilbreath sat out three seasons with the Trojans due to knee injuries, but played in each of USC's 30 games in 2011-12. Williamson wears the Crimson after one season with University of San Diego. The 5-6 guard averaged 5.1 points, 1.4 assists and 1.1 rebounds per game with the Toreros.

Along with the two transfers, Trakh also adds five other players to the roster. Las Cruces native, Elena Holguin, comes in after redshirting her freshman season. Three-point threat, Alexis Nelson, joins the Aggies after breaking the single-season record for three pointers with 60 during her senior campaign at Aurora High School in Aurora, Ill. Abby Scott (Madras, Ore.), Sasha Weber (Lacey, Wash.) and Shay Young (San Diego, Calif.) round out the newcomers for NM State. 

Last Season: Under the helm of first-year head coach, Mark Trakh, the Aggies finished the 2011-12 season with a 6-24 overall season record. This left NM State with a 3-11 Western Athletic Conference record. The Aggies made an appearance at the WAC Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. (3/7). The Aggies were seeded eighth in the tournament but were quickly booted out by No. 1 66-58 State.

Senior guard Tabitha Wampler was the most recent Aggie to join the 1,000 Point Club with a career 1,254 points (2008-12). She joins former teammates Danisha Corbett and Madison Spence along with Aggie great Anita Maxwell (2,601) and Andrea Kabwasa (1,788).

Another highlight for the Aggies in 2011-12 was coach Trakh coaching his 500th game of his career as a Division I head coach. In his 17th year on the sidelines, the floor general notched the milestone against Hawai'i in Las Cruces Feb. 16.

Preseason Accolades: The Western Athletic Conference coaches and media picked NM State to finish eighth and ninth in their respective preseason polls, and senior guard Stefanie Gilbreath was named an All-WAC preseason pick.

The Aggies were picked sixth in last season's preseason polls. NM State finished 6-24 overall and 3-11 in the conference to place eighth. The eighth-place rank gave the Aggies a tough battle against top-ranked Fresno State in the 2012 WAC Championships. The Bulldogs defeated the Aggies 66-58, knocking NM State out of the tournament.

Reigning first team All-WAC honoree Christensen was voted Preseason Player of the Year and is the on the preseason All-WAC first team. Joining her on the first team is Alyssa Charlston of Idaho, Louisiana Tech's Whitney Frazier, Diamond Ford of Texas State and Seattle U's Kacie Sowell. 

Historical Season:

-- The 2012-13 season marks the 40th season of Aggie women's basketball. The first season was 1973-74. 

-- This season also marks 25 years since the Aggies last NCAA tournament appearance.  The 1987-88 team was the last in program history to receive an NCAA berth. 

Potential Milestone: With 12 total wins this season, NM State will make its 600th victory in program history. With the current 7-5 record, the Aggies sit at 595-529 all time.

Aggies Host 16 Games This Season: The Aggies' 17 home games at the Pan American Center is the fifth time in six seasons NM State plays host to more than 15 contests. Along with this year's ledger, here are the prior four season slates with 16-plus games in Las Cruces including a school-record 18 games last year in 2009-10.

‹ New Mexico State Women's Basketball

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