LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women's basketball team fell 65-55 to Fresno State inside the Pan American Center Monday night.
The Aggies rallied several times late in the second half to close to within a couple possessions finding themselves down just four with 3:17 remaining, but could not catch up with the Bulldogs down the stretch.
The senior guard tandem of Jasmine Lowe and Madison Spence led the Aggies on offense with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Senior guard Danisha Corbett led NM State on the boards with eight to go along with nine points
The Aggies shot 36.2 percent while the defense held Fresno State to just 29 percent from the field. The Bulldogs edged the Aggies on the glass, 47-45. NM State was cold from beyond the arc on 1-of-14 from beyond the arc while FS didn't fare much better on 6-of-32 shooting.
"(Fresno State) is a really good team," said head coach Darin Spence. "They tried to punch us out early, but we got back on our feet and competed. We turned the ball over 23 times tonight, that's just not us. But we found a way to get back into the game and gave ourselves a chance."
After the loss, NM State drops to 11-15 overall and 5-7 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). With the win, Fresno State moves to 19-7 overall and 10-2 in the WAC.
Fresno State jumped out to an early lead by scoring the first eight points of the game. Aggie junior forward Tabytha Wampler drew two early fouls in the first two minutes of the game.
Two free throws from freshman guard Andrea Chenier got NM State on the board for an 8-2 margin. Senior guard Danisha Corbett scored the first bucket for the Aggies at the 13:41 mark of the first half to make it 14-4 Bulldogs.
After an FS bucket, NM State strung together nine straight points to cut the Bulldog advantage down to three at 16-13 with 7:42 left.
However, the Bulldogs countered with a run of their own over the next few minutes. Fresno State rattled off 10 straight to push the lead back to double digits at 26-13 for its largest lead of the first half with just over four minutes remaining.
Behind four points from redshirt junior Erica Sanchez, NM State outscored Fresno State 6-2 down the stretch of the first 20 minutes to cut the Bulldog lead to 28-19 at halftime.
NM State shot 25 percent in the first half but defended FS to a 27.8 field goal percentage. NM State did not make a three-point basket in eight attempts while FS went 4-of-10 from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs edged the Aggies on the boards 27-25. Fresno State scored 17 off of 11 Aggie turnovers in the first to just five NM State points off seven of Bulldog miscues.
The Aggies sprinted out of the gate in the second half to score the first seven points of the half to cut the Bulldog lead to four at 30-26 with 17:21 left in the game.
Seconds later, NM State closed to within a bucket at 30-28 after a basket from Lowe. But Fresno State rebuilt its lead again with another timely 8-0 run to lead 40-32 at the 13:10 mark.
The teams played evenly over the next five minutes as FS maintained its eight-point advantage at 48-40 with 8:27 left in the game.
NM State went on a 7-2 run over the next five minutes to close to within four at 53-49 with 3:17 left, but Fresno State kept the Aggies at ay the rest of the game to secure the win.
Hayley Munro led FS with 14 points. Taja Edwards led the Bulldogs on the glass with 11 rebounds and 10 points for a double-double performance.
NM State makes its final road trip of the regular season later this week. The Aggies travel to Utah State for a game Thursday at 7 pm MT and then move on to Nevada for a 3 pm tip in Reno. Both games can be heard over the Aggie Sports Radio Network on KSNM 570 AM with Kyle Doperalski.
Click NMStateSports.com for all of the latest women's basketball news.