LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Feb. 16) - While recording the ninth most points in New Mexico state women's basketball history in a 106-94 win over the Western Athletic Conference leading Utah State Aggies on Saturday evening at the Pan American Center. The Aggies are 11-14 on the season and 5-10 in conference play.
With her second double-double in one week, sophomore Danesia Williamson worked her way to 23 points and 10 assists. Her 23 points marks a new career high for the sophomore, while the 10 assists matches her career number as an Aggie that she set just two days prior.
Along with Williamson, four other Aggies shot in double figures, marking the second consecutive game for that feat. Seniors Kelsie Rozendaal and Stefanie Gilbreath each earned a double-double on the game with Rozendaal scoring 14 of the Aggies 106 points and picking up 12 rebounds. Gilbreath notched a new career number in the point's column with 27 on the night and 11 rebounds.
Freshmen Sasha Weber and Abby Scott each collected double-digit points with Weber earning 11 and Scott picking up 16. Weber had three rebounds in the win as well.
As a team, the Aggies finished with a 42.7 field goal percentage and 39.4 percent from the three-point line. The Aggies out-rebounded Utah State 49-41 and forced 13 turnovers. NM State picked up 16 points off those turnovers.
"I am thrilled for this team. I really thought it was a great offensive night for us and it is outstanding to see so many players contributing to the score," head coach Mark Trakh said. "We are completely capable of doing this in several games thorough the season and we are just finding our niche."
The Aggies win goes down as the ninth-best scoring game in program history and marks the first time since 1992 that an Aggie squad has scored in the triple figures.
"We scored 106 points tonight and 90 on Thursday. That is a great feeling for this team and for the community. Our crowd was the best tonight and we are extremely grateful for the fan's support," Trakh said.
With Utah State striking first, the Aggies came up with a 7-6 lead with a three by Rozendaal. The USUS Aggies scored six before NM State went on 15-7 run to take a 23-19 lead with more than eight minutes to play in the half. With NM State staying solid in the paint, Utah State earned its final nine points of the half off free throws. The Aggies scored the final five points of the half with a three by Weber and a bucket by Rozendaal to lock the score at 39-39 going into halftime.
At the half, Rozendaal led the team with nine points and six rebounds. The team was shooting 24.1 percent from the field, but proved to be a second have dominance with 52.9 percent shooting in the field and behind the three-point line.
NM State regained the lead in the early part of the second half 45-40 before a three on the left corner by Weber brought the Aggies to an eight point lead. NM State continued on its shooting path by increasing the lead to 55-42 at the first media timeout with the help of a three pointer by Gilbreath and two points inside the line by Jasmine Rutledge and Scott.
The NM State Aggies drove the margin further from USU with a 10-point run in the middle of the second half. The Aggies kept the lead steady near the 20-point range until the 2:23 mark when a pair of free shots by Utah State's Devyn Christensen narrowed the margin to a 13-point lead (95-82).
The USU Aggies fouled NM State three straight times and NM State sank each of the six free buckets in the final two minutes of play to increase the Aggies lead to 103-85. Utah State was able to work its way to 94 points before the clock ran down with a pair of free throws and a three pointer with eight seconds to play.
Utah State's late attempt was not enough to hold off the Aggies as NM State earned its first 100-plus point game in 21 years.
The Aggies, now on a two-game win streak in WAC play, look to keep the momentum going against CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m.