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NMSU Women Eliminated at Wac Tourney


POSTED: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 6:46pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 10:37pm

RENO, Nev. - The fifth-seeded New Mexico State women's basketball team dropped its Western Athletic Conference quarterfinal to fourth-seeded Idaho 75-63 inside the Lawlor Events Center in Reno Wednesday afternoon.
Aggie junior guard Jasmine Lowe and senior backcourt mate Crystal Boyd led NM State on the scoreboard with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Boyd also grabbed 10 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season.

NM State finishes the season at 18-13 overall. Fourth-seeded Idaho improves to 11-19 on the year and will face top-seeded Fresno State Friday afternoon in the WAC semifinals.

Late in the game, two treys by NM State junior guard Danisha Corbett and a bucket by All-WAC freshman Camila Rosen trimmed the Vandal lead to one at 58-57 with 4:30 left in regulation.

After a pair of threes by Idaho senior guard Charlotte Otero and junior Bianca Cheever, Lowe responded with one of her own to make it a 64-60 Idaho lead with 2:35 remaining. But Otero knocked down another trey and Olorunnife made a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 69-60 and Idaho was able to make free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

NM State shot 35.4 percent (23-of-65) in the game while Idaho hit 44.4 percent (28-of-63) of their shots from the floor. The Vandals out-rebounded the Aggies 46-37 and made 10 three-point shots to just seven for NM State. UI also made nine of 16 free throw attempts in the game, all in the second half.

Neither team could muster any points after the break until Idaho junior guard Rachele Kloke opened with the first pair of Vandal attempts from the line, making one from the stripe. A three-pointer by UI sophomore Shaena Kuehu and a bucket by Vandal junior post Yinka Olorunnife gave Idaho its largest lead of the game at 39-31.

The Aggies roared back behind a 13-4 rally that included an 8-0 run, to take its only lead of the half at 44-43 after two buckets each by sophomore forward Tabytha Wampler and Boyd along with a hoop by Lowe.

Idaho responded with a 10-2 run of its own, also including an 8-0 spurt, to lead 53-46 midway through the half. Lowe kept the Aggies close after a three-point basket at the 9:36 mark to cut the Vandal lead to four, 53-49 but could not inch closer as time ticked away.

To open the game, the Aggies won the opening tip and Boyd quickly scored 15 seconds in to put NM State up 2-0. After an Idaho bucket to tie the score, the Aggies went on a 7-0 run to lead 9-2 behind two buckets from Wampler and a three-point hoop from junior guard Madison Spence.

Idaho answered with a 7-0 rally of its own to knot the score at 9-9; prompting NM State head coach Darin Spence to call a timeout at the 14:18 mark. UI took its first lead of the game minutes later after a 3-pointer by Olorunnife made it 14-12 Vandals.

The lead changed hands over the next half dozen possessions as three minutes ticked off the clock. The Aggies opened up a five point lead of 26-21 after two buckets by Boyd and four free throws by sophomore forward Kelsie Rozendaal with just under seven minutes remaining in the half.

The Vandals battled back to take the lead after a 10-0 run and build a five-point advantage of their own at 31-26. The Aggies scored five straight to tie it at 31 after buckets by Wampler and Boyd and a free throw by freshman Malia Magazzeni. But UI junior guard Bianca Cheever scored just before the buzzer to give Idaho a 33-31 lead at the half.

The halftime stats were just as close as the score as both teams snared 18 rebounds, dished out six assists and scored 14 points in the paint. The Vandals outshot the Aggies making 45.5 percent (15-of-33) to 39.3 percent (11-of-28). But NM State made up the difference at the line sinking six of seven attempts while not allowing Idaho to step up to the charity stripe. The Aggie reserves outscored the UI bench 13-4 in the half.

Olorunnife led all scorers with 23 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double this season. Kuehu scored a career-high 22 points for the Vandals and also posted 10 boards for a double-double.

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