Las Cruces, NM — New Mexico State women’s basketball team dropped its first road game of the holiday week 63-52 against Cal State Fullerton on Monday, Dec. 23. The Aggies move to 3-6 on the season and continue to search for their first road victory.
Freshman Vanessa Garner led the team with 15 points, marking her first game to score in double figures in the last six games. Sophomore Sasha Weber also saw double digits on the night with 14 points and freshman Moriah Mack led on defense with seven rebounds.
The Aggies shot 42.6 percent as a team and the Titans shot 47.7 percent. Fullerton’s top scorer finished the night with 22 points, but the Aggies outscored their opponent 7-6 on second chance points. NM State also saw 21 points off turnovers and 10 from bench players.
“We really have to work on our rebounding. That is hurting us right now,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “But we have to stay positive and know this is a young team and we can build on games like this and continue to get better.”
Fullerton picked up the first three points off a layup and a free throw before junior Danesia Williamson put the Aggies on the board with a layup. CSF pulled ahead 10-4 quickly with a couple of good shots, but NM State pulled ahead 11-10 on the other side of the first media timeout on the work of Garner and Williamson.
The Aggies kept a lead over the Titans until there was 10:07 on the clock in the first half and CSF’s Natalie Williams sank a layup to go ahead of the Aggies 17-16. Fullerton got the next four points, but Sasha Weber hit a three from the top of the line to make it a one possession game.
The teams traded points, for the next several minutes with CSF staying ahead of the Aggies just slightly. A jump shot by sophomore Abby Scott pulled the Aggies within two with just under three minutes left. The half ended with a couple of free throws by each team and the Titans ahead 37-31.
At the intermission, NM State shot 48 percent with Garner leading the team with 10 points. The Titans were shooting 52 percent at the half with junior Chante Miles leading all scorers with 15 points. Ellis led the Aggies defensively with five boards but the teams were tied with 14 rebounds apiece.
The second half opened with a three from the right side of the arc by Garner and the Aggies outscored the Titans 7-1 in the first two minutes of the period to tie the game at 38 apiece. CSF hit a three, but the Aggies stayed right in the game with a layup by freshman Moriah Mack.
Fullerton pulled ahead 46-43 with a pair of free throws, but Scott drove in for a layup on the right side to keep the Aggies within one point with 11:50 on the clock. The teams continued to battle for the lead and the Aggies fell behind after a couple of shots by Fullerton but Weber hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game to keep the game within one.
The Aggies let CSF take a 55-50 lead with four minutes on the clock with a pair of Titan free throws and a jump shot. The Aggies allowed the Fullerton lead get to nine before Weber drove to the basket for the first NM State points in five minutes on the court.
The Aggies gave up the final two points on free throws for a final score of 63-52. NM State now looks to the UTSA Holiday Classic in San Antonio, Texas, Dec. 28-29. The Aggies first meet Northwestern State on Dec. 28 before facing host UTSA on Dec. 29.