The New Mexico State women's basketball team (3-6) heads to California to meet UC Irvine on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. The game comes after a week off for the Aggies. The teams last met during the 2012 Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic when NM State picked up a 50-44 win over the Anteaters.
You can listen to the game live on KSNM AM570 with Jay Sanderson making the call. The pregame show is set for 15 minutes before tip-off. Live stats for the game are available at NMStateSports.com.
Staying Connected #AggieUp
Want to stay connected with Aggie Athletics when you can’t make it to the Pan Am? Follow us on Twitter @NMStateAthletics and on Facebook at “NMSU Athletics” for the most up-to-date info on the games going on. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #AggieUp to get linked into the conversation.
The team continues in California and makes the short trip north to face Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 23. Game time is set for 8 p.m.
NM State went 0-2 last week against its two biggest non-conference rivals. The Aggies fell 80-61 to cross-border rival UTEP before losing 65-55 to New Mexico on Saturday. Freshman Brianna Freeman led the Aggies against the Miners with 12 points, while sophomore Sasha Weber led the team with 11 points against the Lobos.
The UC Irvine Anteaters have a 6-5 record during the 2013-2014 season. Similar to the Aggies, the Anteaters faced Loyola Marymount on Nov. 29, where they won 63-60. They have also faced upcoming NM State opponents, the Idaho Vandals, where they lost 68-63 on Nov. 23, 2013. Camille Buckley leads UCI this season with a 14.7 average and has started in nine games. She averages .438 from the field and averages 10.1 on rebounds. Buckley has 16 assists and steals and totals 132 points since the start of the 2013-2014 season. NM State takes on UCI on Dec. 18 at the Bren Center at 7 p.m.
UCI and the Aggies have met 27 times in program history. NM State holds a 17-10 record over the Anteaters with the most recent meeting coming at the 2012 edition of the Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic. During the holiday tournament, NM State earned a 50-44 win over UCI.
Freeman Starts the Doubles
Freshman Brianna Freeman is the first Aggie to earn a double-double this season. She had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the Aggie loss to Milwaukee (84-81) during the Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic. The double-double was the first of Freeman’s young career as an Aggie.
Garner Starting Hot
Vanessa Garner finished her debut week for NM State with a team-high 19.7 points in the first week for the Aggies. She has scored in double figures in five games this season, making her the leading scorer for NM State. She is averaging 12.7 points per game and set a new career high 26 points in the loss to Loyola Marymount in November. Since then, Garner has not hit double-digit scoring.
Las Cruces Native Steps Up
Redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin scored a season high 19 points at Cal Poly and then 18 in the Aggies 88-56 win over Eastern New Mexico (Nov. 18 and 21). Prior to her double-figure scoring days, Holguin averaged less than 10 points a game and saw a career best of just five points.
The Aggies, starting three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior newcomer, are among the youngest starting lineups in the country. Here is a list of the five youngest teams in the NCAA:
UMBC (Maryland-Baltimore County): 3 Freshmen and 2 Sophomores
Boise State: 2 Freshmen and 3 sophomores
NM State: 3 Freshmen and 1 Sophomore, 1 Junior
Abilene Christian: 3 Freshmen, 1 Sophomore, 1 Senior
Oregon State: 1 Freshman, 3 Sophomores, 1 Junior
NM State returns two starters from last year and look for replace senior starters Stefanie Gilbreath and Kelsie Rozendaal. Sophomores Abby Scott and Sasha Weber stand as the top returners for the Aggies. Weber returns after starting 24 games, averaging 8.5 points per game, posting 59 assists to go along with the top field goal percentage among the returners. Scott started nine games for the Aggies and averaged 4.7 points per contest. Other Aggies returning for the 2013-14 season include junior Simone Ruedin and redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin.
The Aggies ended the 2012-13 season with a 15-16 overall record and 7-11 in WAC play. The season was highlighted by wins over defending Conference USA champion UTEP (69-68) and WAC-leading Utah State (106-94) late in the season. NM State ended the year with a second round loss to top-seeded Seattle U in the WAC Tournament. NM State went into the tournament as the eighth seed and fell 77-53.
The Aggies were selected to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference media and coaches’ preseason polls. Sophomore guard Sasha Weber was picked as a second-team selection in both polls. This comes after being noted as the top returner for the Aggies with 24 starts and 8-5 points per contest.