NM State Opens WAC Tournament against UT Arlington
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  03/11/2013

This Week: NM State now looks at a rematch against the UTA Mavericks on Tuesday, March 12, for the first day of the 2013 WAC Championship. NM State faces the Mavs at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets: Tickets for all women's basketball games at the Pan American Center are $6 for Adults and as always, kids 12 and under are FREE. A group rate of $4 is available. Call the NM State ticket office at 575-646-1420.

Over the Airwaves: The Aggie Sports Network is each of the Aggies postseason contests on the Aggie Sports Network with Jay Sanderson giving the play-by-play. All games aired on radio are produced by the Aggie Sports Network on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces. The broadcasts can also be heard from anywhere around the world on the Internet by logging onto www.NMStateSports.com. Just click on the live events link to access the coverage for a fee.

Live Stats on the Web: Live stats will be available for fans at www.NMStateSports.com at no cost for the entire season. Fans can click on the Live Events link at the top of the NMStateSports.com home page to access the live stats. Live stats for away games may direct fans to the opposing team's athletics page.

Getting Social: Get all the updates of Aggie Athletics on Twitter and Facebook. Get in-game statistics and in-game updates on Twitter @NMStateAggies. Find out about all Aggie Athletics promotions and events on Facebook (NMSU Athletics and The Aggie Student-Athlete).


Looking Ahead: The Aggies head to Las Vegas, Nev., March 12-16 for the 2013 WAC Championship at the Orleans Arena.  NM State meets Ut Arlington in the first round with a possible meeting with No. 1 seed Seattle with a win on Tuesday, March 12 over the Mavs.

Looking Back: The Aggies finish the regular season with a 14-15 overall record and 7-11 in WAC play. In the final weekend before the WAC tournament, Gilbreath led the Aggies with an average of 21.5 points per contest. She helped the team with 18 points in the 66-56 win over Louisiana Tech for the Aggies' first ever win in Ruston, La. She and fellow senior Kelsie Rozendaal worked for double-doubles in the Aggies victory over UTA in the final game of the regular season. Rozendaal now has seven double-doubles on the season and Gilbreath has five.



About UTA: The Mavericks finished just 7-21 during the regular season and 3-13 in conference play. One of those wins includes a 62-59 win over the Aggies to start their conference season, but NM State came back in the final game of the regular season for a 72-66 win over the Mavs in Arlington. Laila Sulleiman is on top for the Mavs with 10.4 points per game during conference play and a .330 field goal percentage. UTA has five players shooting above .400 during league play with just two scoring in double figures. Aron Garcia is the defender to watch with 7.4 boards a game and 28 blocks with 17 steals.

Series History Versus the Mavericks: The Aggies are 1-4 against the Mavs, with the teams splitting the regular season home-and-home series. Prior to meeting as conference opponents this season, UTA and the Aggies had not faced off since 2005.This year marked the first series between the teams as conference opponents, however. UTA joined the WAC starting this fall, and will move to the Sun Belt in 2013-14.

Who's Next?: The winner of the first round of the 2013 WAC Championship game with the Aggies vs. the Mavs will face the tournament's top seed Seattle on Wednesday afternoon.


About the Aggies: NM State is 14-15 overall and 7-11 in the WAC. After winning the final two games of the regular season, the Aggies are averaging 62 points a game with senior guard Stefanie Gilbreath leading the way with 17.4 points a contest in WAC play. Sophomore transfer Danesia Williamson is second in scoring (12.4) and lead the team in assists (97) and is second in steals (33) behind senior Camila Rosen.

Road to Vegas: Going into the WAC tournament, NM State takes the No. 8 seed and faces UT Arlington on Tuesday, March 12 at 2:30 p.m. The Aggies finished the regular season with a .389 winning percentage through the 18 WAC games.

Tournament History: NM State is 51-76 all-time in the WAC with a tournament record of 7-7. NM State entered the 2012 WAC Championship against No. 1 seed Fresno State and fell 66-58 in the opening round.

Season Standout

WAC Player of the Week: Stefanie Gilbreath: Gilbreath shot 35 percent from the field over the weekend with 18 points in the Aggies first-ever win in Ruston, La., over La Tech and her fifth double-double versus UT Arlington with 25 points and 10 rebounds. The Katy, Texas native has scored in double figures in every WAC game this season and marked her ninth 20-plus point game in the Aggies regular season finale against the Mavs. She scored above her season average (17.4) in both games and helped NM State match its win total from 2011 with 14 wins.

Gilbreath Named Newcomer of the Year, 2nd Team All-WAC: Gilbreath was named WAC Newcomer of the Year and received 2nd team All-WAC honors for the 2012-13 season. The senior transfer from USC worked her way to Newcomer of the Year award by claiming the third best scoring average (17.4) in the conference. She finished the season by scoring in double figures in each of the Aggies 18 WAC games and 20-plus points in nine games this season. In WAC games, the senior ranked third in the conference in scoring (19.4) and three-pointers per game (2.44), fifth in free throw percentage (83.3), ninth in blocks (0.94) and 12th in rebounding (7.3).

Numbers in the WAC:

Aggies rank third in the conference for scoring defense with an average of 63.7 points per game.

Kelsie Rozendaal is third in field goal percentage (.526) through all games.

Stefanie Gilbreath ranks third in the WAC through league play with 19.4 points per game slightly following Ta' Rea Cunnigan and Diamond Ford. She's also second in free throw percentage with .846 through all games.

Kelsie Rozendaal ranks fifth in the league in rebounding with 8.4 board per game through conference play. She is third in offensive rebounds with 3.82 average per game along with Camila Rosen who ranks 7th with an average of 3.23 in WAC play.

Small Margins: The Aggies four losses between 1/10-1/19 were decided by a combined 15 points.

Double Doubles: Four Aggies have earned double-double this season with Kelsie Rozendaal leading the team with six this season.

Gilbreath: 15 pts, 10 reb; UTA, 12/29

Gilbreath: 21 pts, 11 reb; Idaho, 1/12

Gilbreath: 13 pts, 11 reb; at SJSU 1/19

Gilbreath: 27 pts, 11 reb; Utah State 2/16

Gilbreath: 25 pts, 11 reb; UTA 3/9

Rozendaal: 22 pts, 11 reb; Loyola Marymount, 11/12

Rozendaal: 11 pts, 11 reb; at Texas State, 1/5

Rozendaal: 10 pts, 10 reb; at SJSU 1/19

Rozendaal: 13 pts, 11 reb; at Denver, 1/26

Rozendaal: 11 pts, 10 reb. SJSU 2/14

Rozendaal: 14 pts, 12 reb; Utah State 2/16

Rozendaal: 16 pts, 15 reb; UTA 3/9

Weber: 11 pts, 10 reb; at Texas State, 1/5

Williamson: 19 pts, 10 asst; SJSU 2/14

Williamson: 23 pts, 10 asst; Utah State 2/16

It's a Three-Point Game: The Aggies have started 12 games with a three pointer this season.

vs. George Mason W, 55-52 (D. Williamson)

vs. UC Irvine W, 50-44 (Sasha Weber)

vs. UTEP W, 69-68 (Sasha Weber)

at Southern Utah W, 70-68 (S. Gilbreath)

vs. UT Arlington L, 62-59 (Abby Scott)

vs. LA Tech W, 71-67 (Abby Scott)

at UTSA W, 69-52 (Abby Scott)

at Texas State W, 61-58 (S. Gilbreath)

at Utah State L, 65-63 (Sasha Weber)

at SJSU L, 51-50 (Gilbreath)

vs. UTSA L, 66-53 (Scott)

at Seattle L, 78-62 (Rozendaal)

at UT Arlington, W, 72-66 (Gilbreath)

Gilbreath Seeing Double: Stefanie Gilbreath has scored in the double figures in every WAC game this season with only one game below 15 points. She has nine conference games with 20 or more points.

Big Milestones: With a win over CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, NM State earned its 600th victory in program history. With the current 12-14 record, the Aggies sit at 602-538 all-time.

Coach Trakh picked up his 300th career win as a Division I head coach on Saturday, Dec. 1, against Southern Utah. The Aggies pulled off a last minute 70-68 defeat over the Thunderbirds, helping Trakh to earn the milestone victory. Trakh holds a 309-226 career record.

Rivalry Rundown

UNM: The Lobos swept the Rio Grande Rivalry Series this season with a 60-37 win over the Aggies at The Pit on Nov. 20 and a 60-44 victory in Las Cruces on Dec. 18. In game one, the Aggies had trouble making shots, but kept the stats similar to the Lobos. The Aggies collected 44 rebounds on the evening with six assists and two blocks. The Lobos were quite similar to NM State with 43 boards, but tallied 16 assists on the evening. Game two finished in similar fashion with the Lobos claiming a 60-44 victory over NM State at the Pan Am on Dec. 18. The loss at home marked the first of the 2012-13 season. Sasha Weber led the Aggies with 10 points and three rebounds on the evening. The Aggies shot 30.4 percent from the floor but tallied eight steals as a team with 27 rebounds. Those stats were not enough to hold off the Lobos who finished the game shooting 47.5 percent from the field and picking up 42 rebounds on the night.

UTEP: NM State took game one of the Battle of I-10 rivalry series with a late game battle to a 69-68 win over the Miners. UTEP maintained the lead throughout most of the game, gaining as much as a 15 point lead in the first half, but Stefanie Gilbreath finished her first Battle of I-10 game with a stellar 22 points to collect a regular-season career high. She went 5-for-8 on three pointers and picking up eight rebounds to match her career-high. Sophomore Danesia Williamson also picked up a career-high with 23 points on the game with a solid 10-of-12 at the line. Game two was set to a different tune with the Miners running away early with the 66- 44 win over NM State in El Paso. The Aggies struggled on offense, scoring just 14 points in the first half of play. The second half was a bit more positive as Williamson collected 13 points in the half with two field goals and one three pointer. She was 6-for- 6 at the line with four rebounds. Jasmine Rutledge finished the game with 11 points on the evening and compiled nine points at the line to mark a new career best for the junior.

Tournament Champs: The New Mexico State Aggies claimed the Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic tournament title with a stellar 50-44 win over UC Irvine on Saturday evening at the Pan American Center. The previous night, the Aggies claimed a 55-52 win over the Patriots of George Mason. With the 2-0 record on the tournament, NM State's Kelsie Rozendaal and Sasha Weber were named to the All-Tournament team. Rozendaal was also selected tournament MVP for her work on the hardwood.

Trakh Signs Five to NLI: Head coach Mark Trakh announces that five high school players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Aggies in the fall of 2013. Trakh is in his second season with NM State and has led the Aggies to a 1-0 start to the 2012-13 season. Joining the Aggies in 2013 are Tamera Williams of Centennial High School (Las Vegas, Nev.), Brianna Freeman of Harker Heights High School (Killeen, Texas), Vanessa Garner of Archbishop Mitty High School (Milpitas, Calif.), Moriah Mack of Reagan High School (San Antonio, Texas), and Brandee Walton of St. Mary's High School (Phoenix, Az.)

Last Season: Under the helm of first-year head coach, Mark Trakh, the Aggies finished the 2011-12 season with a 6-24 overall season record. This left NM State with a 3-11 Western Athletic Conference record. The Aggies made an appearance at the WAC Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. (3/7). The Aggies were seeded eighth in the tournament but were quickly booted out by No. 1 66-58 State. Senior guard Tabitha Wampler was the most recent Aggie to join the 1,000 Point Club with a career 1,254 points (2008-12). She joins former teammates Danisha Corbett and Madison Spence along with Aggie great Anita Maxwell (2,601) and Andrea Kabwasa (1,788). Another highlight for the Aggies in 2011-12 was coach Trakh coaching his 500th game of his career as a Division I head coach. In his 17th year on the sidelines, the floor general notched the milestone against Hawai'i in Las Cruces Feb. 16.

Historical Season:

-- The 2012-13 season marks the 40th season of Aggie women's basketball. The first season was 1973-74.

-- This season also marks 25 years since the Aggies last NCAA tournament appearance. The 1987-88 team was the last in program history to receive an NCAA berth.

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