RENO, Nev. (March 1) - The New Mexico State women's basketball team fell 68-56 at Nevada Wednesday afternoon inside the Lawlor Events Center.
Aggie senior Kelsie Rozendaal smashed her career high in the contest with 20 points, scoring six of the team's first eight points in the game as NM State sprinted out to an early 8-3 advantage. Rozendaal topped her previous career high of 15 set earlier this season at UMKC on Jan. 4.
Despite building an early lead the Aggies trailed at the half 37-28 to the Wolf Pack. The Pack stretched the lead to 14 early in the second half but NM State put together a 21-8 run over the next 10 minutes to cut the Nevada lead to one, 50-49, with nine minutes remaining.
But the Aggies could not capitalize on opportunities to tie or take the lead as Nevada outscored NM State 14-4 down the stretch to claim the victory.
Rozendaal's 20 points led all scorers in the game. Freshman guard Hannah Womack added 10 off the bench for NM State. Senior Tabytha Wampler just missed her ninth double-double of the season with nine points and 11 boards.
NM State drops to 6-22 overall and 3-10 in the WAC while Nevada improves to 6-22 overall and 2-11 in conference. Nevada snapped a nine-game losing streak with its first conference home win of the season.
Both teams shot the same percentage of 42 percent from the floor each making 22 of 53 attempts. One key difference was at free throw line where Nevada made 10 more shots than NM State with an 18-8 advantage. The Aggies made a dismal 8-of-19 from the charity stripe. Nevada also canned more long-range shots making 6-of-14 from beyond the arc, while NM State made 4-of-16.
Rozendaal helped NM State build a 6-0 lead early in the game. Nevada used the three-point shot to get back into the game early, draining three in a row to make it 9-8 Pack just four minutes into the game. A three from Womack put the Aggies up 11-9 at the first media timeout.
Nevada knotted the score for the only time in the game next time down the floor at 11-11. A 9-3 UN run gave the Wolf Pack the lead for good. Nevada led by as many as nine in the half and closed out the first 20 minutes with a 37-28 lead.
The Aggies shot 42 percent (10-24) in the first half but allowed Nevada 52 percent (14-27) shooting from the floor. NM State led on the boards 19-13 at the half. But the Aggies committed eight turnovers while Nevada made just three. The Pack made five of their six threes before the break on 5-of-8 marksmanship.
Inside the first minute of the second half Nevada increased its lead to 42-28 - the Pack's largest of the game. Sophomore guard Dré Chenier scored six of her nine points in a 21-8 Aggie rally. Wampler scored six consecutive points for the Aggies during the run that cut the Pack lead to 50-49 with nine minutes remaining.
NM State kept it a one-possession game over the next four minutes but Nevada pulled away in the final 3:48 with a 14-4 run to close out the game.
Nevada guard Kate Kevorken led the team with a double-double of 19 points and 11 boards. Wolf Pack center Kayla Williams added 15 and guard Danika Sharp dropped in 13 for Nevada.
NM State closes out the regular season with a trip to first-place Fresno State Saturday at 3 p.m. The Aggies are currently in line for the No. 7 seed at the 2012 WAC Tournament that begins Wednesday, March 7 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Click NMStateSports.com for all of the latest Aggie women's basketball news.