POSTED: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 11:56pm
UPDATED: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 2:22pm
The New Mexico State women's basketball team fell 74-37 to Utah inside the Utes' Jon M. Huntsman Center Wednesday evening.
Utah jumped out to an early lead at home over the Aggies and never looked back. The Ute starting forwards proved too much for the Aggie defense as they combined for 36 points and 16 rebounds in 48 minutes of play.
Freshman Hannah Womack scored 15 points to lead the Aggies. Chrissy Fletcher added seven for NM State. All 12 players saw at least nine minutes of action on the floor and each Aggie came away with at least one rebound.
NM State drops to 2-9 with the loss and Utah improves to 6-4 after the victory.
The Aggies shot just 21 percent (12-58) in the game while Utah made 52 percent (24-46) of its attempts. Utah hauled in 43 boards to 36 for NM State. Each team forced 13 turnovers. NM State's bench led the Ute reserves 21-11.
Utah opened the game with four points in the first minute of the game. A three-point make from senior forward Tabytha Wampler cut the Ute lead to 4-3 but Utah sprinted out to a 7-1 run over the next 1:37 to build an 11-4 lead just three minutes into the half.
Wampler picked up a pair of early fouls and went to the bench but NM State kept the lead at seven, 15-8, after buckets by senior Kelsie Rozendaal and freshman Simone Ruedin off the bench. But the Utes used an 8-0 run to move ahead 23-8 at the 7:46 mark.
Womack's three-point shot went in at the 7:11 mark to make it 23-11 but the hoop would be the last of the half for NM State as Utah closed the half on a 10-0 run to lead 33-11 at the half.
The Aggies shot a dismal 14 percent (4-28) from the floor in the first 20 minutes while the Utes made 52 percent (13-25) of their shots. NM State led the battle of the boards 21-19 at the half. Utah committed just five turnovers in the first half while the Aggies turned the ball over 10 times. Ute sophomore forward Michelle Plouffe posted 17 points in the first half to lead all scorers.
Utah opened the second half on a 13-2 run to take control of the game; leading 46-15. Womack scored five straight for the Aggies to make it 48-20 at the under-12 minute timeout of the second half. Later in the half senior guard Kaitlyn Soto got on the board with three makes from the free throw line as Utah led 58-23.
Womack scored a pair of threes down the stretch to pace the Aggie offense late.
Plouffe led Utah with her fifth double-double of the 24 points and 10 boards in 28 minutes of play. Forward Taryn Wicijowski added 12 points and guard Rachel Messer posted 11 tallies.
NM State takes a break for the holidays before returning home to finish the Rio Grande Rivalry series against New Mexico. The Aggies host the Lobos inside the Pan American Center on Friday, Dec. 30 at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised by AggieVision with play-by-play from Kyle Doperalski.