LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team fell to Denver Saturday evening in the Pan American Center, 71-63. The Aggies go to 12-15 on the season and 5-11 in the WAC. Denver improves to 13-14 on the year and 8-8 in conference play.
NM State also honored its five seniors; Malia Magazzeni, Stefanie Gilbreath, Kelsie Rozendaal, Chrissy Fletcher and Camila Rosen on senior night.
As a team, the Aggies shot 41.7 percent from the floor but just 4-of-23 from beyond the 3-point arc. Gilbreath led the Aggies with 26 points and four rebounds, while Rozendaal added 15 points and seven rebounds. Rosen led NM State with 11 boards.
NM State opened up the second half on a 12-5 run to cut the Denver lead to 41-38 with 15:258 left in the game. The Aggies were 5-of-8 during the stretch, while forcing four Denver turnovers.
Back and forth the game went as NM State stayed within five points for the Pioneers at 47-42 with 12:14 left in the game. A big 3-pointer by Abby Scott cut the lead to two points at 47-45 but the Pioneers came right back with a basket, extending the lead to four at 49-45 with 11:05 remaining in the game.
After the timeout the Aggies were fouled which put them into the bonus for the remained of the game with 1:57 to go. Two made free throws and the Aggies were down just two at 49-47.
Nm State got to within one at 52-51 before a 5-0 run by Denver gave the Pioneers a six point advantage with 8:06 to go in the contest, 57-51. The Aggies continued to pressure cutting the lead to 57-55 with 6:45 left.
Turnovers and hot shooting by the Pioneers pushed the Denver lead to 64-59 with 3:50 remaining in the game. In the end, Denver was too much for the Aggies, winning xx-xx.
NM State took an early 10-6 lead with just under 16 minutes left in the first half. With just four minutes into the game, four Aggie players had got on the board, as the team was 5-of-7 from the field. The Pioneers then went on a 9-0 run to take a 15-10 lead with under 12 left in the half.
Gilbreath broke the Denver run with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 15-13. Denver then put together another run, this time a nine point stretch, taking a 24-13 lead with over eight minutes to play. The Pioneers maintained a double-digit lead over the next four minutes of play, 31-19 at the under four-minute media timeout of the first half.
NM State and Denver would exchange baskets over the next four minutes, as Denver held a 35-26 lead going into halftime. The Aggies shot 31.3 percent from the floor in the first half, as Gilbreath led the team with 12 points. Rosen led the Aggies with five boards. As a team, NM State was just 2-of-13 from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Aggies will head on the road March 7 against Louisiana Tech and March 9 versus UT-Arlington.