Defending Champs Fresno Has Their Way With NMSU

Defending Champs Fresno Has Their Way With NMSU

POSTED: Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 6:02pm

UPDATED: Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 6:04pm

FRESNO, Calif. - The New Mexico State women's basketball team fell 76-49 to two-time defending conference champion Fresno State at the Save Mart Center Saturday evening.
NM State rallied early in the second half with 10 straight points to cut into the Bulldogs' 17-point halftime lead but Fresno State regrouped five minutes into the half to extend its lead back to double digits.

NM State shot 28 percent in the game while Fresno State made 43 percent of their shots. The Bulldogs won the battle on the glass 43-38. NM State forced 18 FS turnovers but committed 17 of their own in the game.

The senior guard tandem of Madison Spence and Jasmine Lowe led the Aggies on the scoreboard on the night with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Freshman Jasmine Rutledge grabbed a career high 15 rebounds in the game to go along with two points.

Junior forward Tabytha Wampler made her first four free throws of the game to extend her made free throw streak to 23. However, Wampler missed a pair of late free throws with 3:04 on the clock, her first misses the final minutes on Jan. 2 against UTEP. She is now 23-of-25 in WAC play. Wampler made her three attempts at Hawai'i, all 10 at San Jose State and six against Nevada prior to her four tonight from the foul line.

NM State drops to 8-10 overall and 2-2 in the WAC after the loss while Fresno State moves to 3-1 in the league and 12-6 overall.

Lowe opened the scoring with a free throw make for the Aggies' only lead of the game at 1-0. Bulldog Rosie Moult made the first of four first-half three-pointers to give Fresno State an early lead.

The Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run to extend the lead to 11-3 behind another three by Moult a bucket from Hayley Munro and a trey from Jaleesa Ross. NM State answered with an 8-0 run of its own after four points from Spence and buckets from Lowe and redshirt junior Erica Sanchez. As a result, the score showed the teams knotted at 11-11.

The Aggies hung with the Bulldogs over the next four minutes behind four points from Lowe and a pair of free throws from freshman guard Andrea Chenier to make it 20-18 Fresno State with 7:35 left.

However, the Bulldogs pulled away over the remaining time of the half, outscoring the Aggies 23-8 down the stretch before halftime.

Only four Bulldogs scored in the first half, but compiled 43 points led by Ross'16 points. Spence led seven Aggies on the scoreboard with eight tallies at the break. As a team, NM State shot 31 percent while FS torched the nets at 58 percent. The Aggies led the battle of the boards 19-18 at the break. NM State turned the ball over 10 times leading to 17 FS points.

After Fresno State posted the first two points of the second half, the Aggies rallied with 10 straight points, including four from Spence and a three from junior guard Kaitlyn Soto. The Aggie run cut the lead to 45-36 with 15:38 to go, but NM State would get no closer.

Moult led all scorers with 19 points while Ross posted 16 for Fresno State as did Munro. Taja Edwards led the Bulldogs on the boards with nine rebounds.

NM State has six days off before returning to WAC action against Utah State inside the Pan American Center at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22. The game can be heard on the Aggie Sports Radio Network with Kyle Doperalski on KSNM 570 AM.

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