Aggie Women Hang On to Beat San Jose St.
POSTED: Saturday, January 8, 2011 - 9:17pm
UPDATED: Saturday, January 8, 2011 - 10:57pm
SAN JOSE - The New Mexico State women's basketball team survived a scare from winless San Jose State with a come-from-behind 52-46 win over the Spartans inside the SJSU Events Center Saturday night.
NM State struggled to stop San Jose State junior guard Sara Plavljanin who tripled her scoring average for the season with a career- and game-high 28 points, accounting for 61 percent of the Spartans' points in the game. Plavljanin was 5-of-6 from behind the arc in the contest.
After trailing by seven at the half, the Aggies regained the lead at 36-33 behind the scoring of their three senior guards: Madison Spence, Jasmine Lowe and Danisha Corbett who combined for the first 19 NM State points after halftime.
But it was northern California native Tabytha Wampler who sealed the game down the stretch. The junior forward scored six of the Aggies final eight points - all from the free throw line to secure the win. Wampler was one board away from her sixth double-double of the year ending the game with nine rebounds and 12 points and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Lowe also scored 12 for NM State while Spence added 11 including eight in the second half.
NM State shot 32 percent from the floor but beefed up its defense after the half to hold SJSU to 36 percent. The Spartans edged NM State on the boards 29-28. But the Aggies forced SJSU into 25 turnovers, leading to 21 points on the offensive end.
NM State improves to 8-8 overall and 2-0 in the WAC with a pair of road wins to open league play. San Jose State falls to 0-14 overall and 0-2 in conference.
Corbett opened the scoring in the game with a three-pointer. The Aggies built its largest lead of the half at 5-0 after a bucket from Spence.
San Jose State battled back to within one at 10-9 but two free throws from Lowe and a layup from junior guard Kaitlyn Soto pushed the lead back to five with 13:26 left in the stanza.
The Spartans kept the game close midway through the half before a three by junior forward Erica Sanchez made it 19-15 Aggies with 9:32 to go before halftime.
From there Plavljanin caught fire from the floor scoring seven straight points to give SJSU their first lead of the game at 22-19. Those seven were part of a 13-2 run by the home team to end the half. Plavljanin scored a career high 17 points in the first half going a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, 2-of-2 at the line and 6-of-8 from the field.
The guard's hot hand helped SJSU to match its largest halftime lead of the season and boosted the Spartans' first-half field goal percentage to 44.4 percent. The Aggies shot 30 percent from the floor after not scoring a field goal over the final 9:38 of the half. SJSU led on the board 13-10 at the break. Seven Aggies scored but none scored more than four points in the half.
Lowe and Spence scored the Aggies' first 10 points of the half with five apiece, each scoring from behind and inside the arc. The senior tandem brought the Aggies back to within two with 16:54 remaining at 33-31.
Corbett joined her classmates after the half with a layup and trey to help the Aggies put together a 15-3 run over eight minutes leading to the midpoint of the half. The rally put NM State ahead with its largest lead of the game at 40-34 with 10:05 left.
SJSU rallied to take a 46-42 lead at the 4:20 mark after two treys from Plavljanin, but NM State scored the final eight points of the game.
Plavljanin led all scorers with 28 - no other Spartan scored more than five in the game. Brittany Johnson led the Spartans on the glass with seven boards.
NM State returns home for its WAC home opener Wednesday, Jan. 12, against Nevada at 7:05 p.m. MT inside the Pan American Center. The game can be seen across the state on AggieVision.
Click NMStateSports.com for all of the latest women's basketball news.