SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team fell 73-63 to Northwestern State on Saturday, Dec. 28 at the Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas. The first game of the 2013 UTSA Holiday Classic moved the Aggies to 3-9 on the season and saw two freshmen stand out on defense.
Freshmen Tyler Ellis and Brianna Freeman helped the Aggies with 12 and 13 rebounds, respectively. The duo marked the first time this season when two Aggies rebounded in double figures. As a team, NM State had 46 rebounds to the Demons 39.
“I’m happy with the way our two freshmen rebounded today,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “We did some nice things; I think we just lost on the offense. The kids got to understand that they have to show up offensively.”
On the offensive side, sophomore Danesia Williamson matched her career-high as an Aggie with 28 points. She was, however, the only player to score in double figures. The team shot 32.8 percent and allowed NSU to shoot 41 percent on the day.
“I want to give Danesia some props. She had 28 points and went 6-of-11 from the three-point line,” Trakh said. “She did a nice job and if she continues to play like that, we are just going to get better and better.”
The Aggies got on the board first off a rebound by freshman Moriah Mack, who passed it to Williamson for a layup on the left side of the basket. The teams traded baskets with NM State staying ahead through the first media timeout 9-8 until Northwestern State pulled ahead with seven of the next nine points.
With the Demons ahead 15-11, Williamson sank a three from the left corner of the arc to get the Aggies within one. NM State allowed a block and steal, giving NSU open chances for a couple of undefended baskets.
A jump shot by freshman Tamera William and a three by Williamson closed the gap to just two points (24-22), but NSU grabbed control for the remainder of the half to outscore NM State 11-3 for a halftime score of 34-25.
At the break, Williamson led all scorers with 11 points and Freeman led defensively with six rebounds. NM State out-rebounded the Demons 21-19 in the half and saw 13 second chance points, while NSU had just four.
The Aggies shot 30.3 percent as a team and were 4-for-16 from three-point range. Northwestern State shot 41.9 percent and made one of just two shots from beyond the arc.
Out of the intermission, the Demons went to the line and sank one, but NM State saw baskets from Ellis and two by Freeman. NSU stayed ahead for the first part of the half, but NM State held the gap under 10.
Williamson hit both of her free throws to pull the Aggies within five before NSU hit a layup to make the score 43-36, but neither team scored for the next three minutes. Breaking up the dry spell was NSU’s Keisha Lee with a jump shot and Aggie sophomore Abby Scott.
With the Aggies down by eight with just over 10 minutes left in the game, each team hit a three to make the score 48-40 before Weber made one from the line to put NM State within seven of the Demons.
Both teams exchanged free throws for the next couple of minutes until the 6:22 mark when Northwestern State made a pair of baskets. The Aggies answered with a couple of baskets of their own, but could not make up enough ground to come back.
The final minutes of the game ended with the teams trading baskets including back-to-back three pointers by Williamson before each team went to the line. NM State finished with seven free throws and a layup, while NSU ended the game with five from the line and three baskets for the 73-63 win over NM State.The Aggies conclude the 2013 Holiday Classic against host UTSA at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 29.