Las Cruces, NM — The New Mexico State women’s basketball was rattled early by Idaho, which resulted in a 79-51 loss to the Western Athletic Conference leading Vandals on Saturday, Jan. 11. NM State is 4-12 on the year and 1-2 in conference play, while Idaho moves to 11-7 and 4-0 in WAC play.
The Aggies had some positives in the game, despite the loss. Junior Danesia Williamson scored her fourth 20-point game in five games to finish the day with 21. She also had four assists and four rebounds. Sophomore Sasha Weber had 10 points and freshman Tyler Ellis got six offensive rebounds for a total of 11 on the game.
“We did get 18 offensive rebounds and forced 18 turnovers, but the whole difference today was shot making,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “They made more shots than we did and we just need to get the ball in the hole. Now we just need to get back home and work. You saw a senior dominated team pick apart a freshmen dominated team offensively, but it’s not like we didn’t get shots either.”
The Aggies shot just 23 percent, going 19-for-82, and allowed Idaho to shoot 41.5 percent. NM State did finish the game with 47 rebounds and the Vandals had 61.
“You don’t worry about a game like this, you kind of burn the tape and move forward. You have to stay resilient and stay strong. We are just going to coach them up and continue to teach our young kids,” Trakh said.
The Aggies struggled offensively early in the game as Idaho ran away with the first 17 points of the game. Sophomore Abby Scott broke up the run and put the Aggies on the board with a three from the right side. The first Aggie score came at the 15:05 mark.
Williamson helped the Aggies with a bucket from the top of the key for five unanswered NM State points. The Vandals came back with the next few points, but Williamson and Weber each sank 3-pointers before two free throws by freshman Tamera William.
Idaho scored 12 of the next 16 for a 31-14 lead before Williamson and William gathered four points for the Aggies. Scott hit a free throw and Weber ended the half with a layup at the buzzer, but the Vandals controlled the final minutes of the half to lead the Aggies 46-23.
NM State shot just 17.8 percent and Idaho had a team shooting percentage 45.4 percent in the half. Both teams had seven turnovers, but Idaho blocked NM State seven times, aiding in the Aggies’ first-half struggles.
Both teams started slowly in the second period as Idaho scored off two free throws and Scott scored the only bucket in the first five minutes of the half. The teams traded baskets with Idaho staying well ahead of the Aggies with Weber and Williamson hitting a couple of key shots each.
Idaho got 13 of the next 16 points for a 69-37 lead over NM State with 5:40 on the clock. The Aggies scored 14 points in the final minutes of the game, six coming from Williamson, and the Vandals claimed the 79-51 win over NM State.
The Aggies head back to the Pan American Center to host Chicago State at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 before welcoming Kansas City on Saturday at 6 p.m. Thursday’s game will honor former Aggie great Madison Spence, while Saturday, NM State recognizes and welcomes back all former Aggies as part of Alumni Weekend.