Head coach Mark Trakh
and the 2012-13 Aggies dedicate the season-opening win to the late Izzy
Sanchez. Sanchez was the father of former standout Erica Sanchez.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Nov. 12) - The New Mexico State women's basketball
team trilled the crowd with an overtime victory over the Lions of Loyola
Marymount, 77-76, on Monday evening at the Pan American Center.
Sophomore transfer Danesia Williamson locked the score at
69-69 with less than 30 seconds to play in the game. The 5-6 guard notched 19
points on the night. She paved the way for senior Kelsie Rozendaal to give the
Aggies the 77-76 advantage with two free shots in the final five seconds of
overtime. Rozendall's shots at the line earned her a career-high 22 points,
while shooting 8-13 in the season opener. She also notched her first
double-double of the year with 11 rebounds.
Williamson and Rozendaal were accompanied by senior Stefanie
Gilbreath and junior Jasmine Rutledge in double-digit points. Gilbreath and
Rutledge each earned 12 points on the evening with Gilbreath going 5-6 at the
line and Rutledge collecting eight boards.
"Kelsie (Rozendaal) is a tough kid," head coach Mark Trakh
said. "Her back is finally healed, and you can tell the difference. She made a
things off early with a three-pointer and three buckets in the first four
minutes of play. She managed nine points in the first half alone. She was 4-5
from the line and helped the Aggies to an overall 42.3 shooting percentage in
the first 20 minutes of play.
Loyola Marymount went on an eight point run in the middle of
the half, giving the Lions their first lead of the half 22-21. After trading
shots back and forth, a deep pass by Sasha Weber to Rutledge gave the Aggies
the lead once again 28-27 with 3:53 left in the first half. Two free shots made
by sophomore Simone Ruedin tied the score for NM State at 30 with less than
three minutes to play in the half. LMU answered back with seven straight late
in the half to gain a 37-30 lead and close out the half. Ruedin earned three
steals on the game, a career high for the sophomore.
The second half opened with Williamson maintaining her game
when she downed a triple. The Aggies kept their momentum with a shot by
Gilbreath, moving the score to an even 35 in the first minute. Trouble on
defense resulted in the Lions picking the lead back up to 44-37 before the
first timeout. The Aggies earned 46 total rebounds on the night, but allowed 28
turnovers in the win.
"We can't afford to give easy points up this year," Trakh
said, "but, unlike last year, we scored easy points too. And how many easy
points did we get last year? None, all year."
Back to back shots by Rozendaal cut the Lions lead to 49-46
early in the half. Rozendaal sank a long ball just shy of the three-point arc,
and came back to get her three on the next possession.
An eight point run by the Aggies in the middle of the period
cinched the LMU lead to just one point and A pair of free shots and one from
behind the three-point line by Gilbreath followed by a bucket from Rutledge
helped give the Aggie their first lead of the second half.
As a team NM State managed to shoot 48.4 percent on the
night and went perfect from the line 6-6.
The Aggies make their first road trip to Santa Barbara,
Calif., to face the Gouchos of UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Nov, 14. The game
will be available on the Aggie Sports Network, KTSM AM 570. Game time is set
for 8 p.m. (MST).