SEATTLE, Wash. – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team played strong defensively, but ultimately fell 61-51 to Seattle U on Thursday evening, Jan. 9. The Aggies move to 4-11 on the year and 1-1 in Western Athletic Conference play. Sophomore Abby Scott and freshman Tyler Ellis led defensively, while junior Danesia Williamson led the team with 12 points.
Scott earned a career-high six rebounds in the game, while Ellis also had six. Williamson and freshman Moriah Mack each scored in double figures for the Aggies. Williamson had 12 points and Mack had 10. The game was Mack’s third game scoring in double figures this season.
“I’m pleased right now,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “Our kids have to perform offensively. If we shoot a decent percentage, we win this game. I am encouraged that we competed with our young kids against the defending WAC Champs on their floor. I just think we are going to continue to get better. I’m encouraged with this game.”
The Aggies shot 31.9 percent as a team and allowed SU to shoot 40.7 percent. As a team, NM State was out-rebounded 51-35.
“We’re close. We still have two players that will come back from injury in just a couple of weeks that will help, but we are close. This was as close as a 10-point game the whole time,” Trakh said.
The Aggies scored the first two baskets before allowing SU its first basket of the night three and a half minutes into the game. The teams battled in the first six minutes with the the Aggies staying ahead 12-9 at the 13:10 mark in the opening half.
The teams bounced the lead back and forth for the next several minutes with the score staying within one possession. The Redhawks pulled away 22-18 at the 5:22 mark when a bad pass by the Aggies caused a turnover, but it did not last long as Williamson hit a three to pull the Aggies back within one point.
The Aggies allowed a 5-point gap in the game after SU hit three baskets in-a-row as time ran out on the first half. Trailing 27-22 at the intermission, Williamson led the Aggies with nine points, while two Redhawks were scoring in double figures. Defensively, Ellis had five rebounds and Scott had four, but the Aggies were out-rebounded 28-18 as a team.
SU started the second half with a layup for a seven point advantage, but Mack and Williamson hit the next two buckets to bring the team back within two of the Redhawks.
Sophomore Sasha Weber hit two consecutive shots from beyond the 3-point line, but not without SU’s Kacie Sowell scoring two of her own. With NM State trailing 41-33, Ellis hit back-to-back layups to make it a 41-37 game with 12:32 left in the game.
SU scored six of the next eight before the teams went scoreless for nearly three minutes. Scott broke up the scoring drought with a three from the right side and Mack grabbed an offensive rebound for a layup inside the paint to make it a one-possession game (47-44).
The Aggies kept the game close until the 2:06 mark when SU pulled away by eight with a three and a layup to make the score 56-48. SU hit two free throws before Weber came up with a jump shot from the top of the key and a free throw to get within seven of the Redhawks.
Seattle claimed the win after hitting three free throws in the last minute of play to end the game at 61-51.
The Aggies continue on the road and face Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 11 in Moscow, Idaho. Game time is set for 3 p.m. (MT) with Jay Sanderson making the call on KSNM AM570 beginning at 2:45 p.m.