NMSU Women's BBall To host Idaho State Monday
Coming off of a thrilling 63-62 win in the season opener at Houston Friday, the New Mexico State women's basketball team opens its home schedule against Idaho State Monday at 6:30 p.m. inside the Pan American Center.
The game marks the second game of the season for both teams. ISU dropped a 79-63 contest at UTEP Saturday afternoon. The Bengals led the Miners 35-26 but UTEP exploded for 53 points in the second half to cruise to victory.
NM State used an 11-0 run late in the second half to take control of the game at Houston. The Aggies held UH scoreless for over 3:30 to take a 60-53 lead with 3:36 remaining. Senior forward Tabytha Wampler led the Aggies with her 10th career double-double with 21 points and 18 boards. The rebound total matched a career high set last season against Northern Iowa.
The game will be broadcast live on the Aggie Sports Radio Network on KSNM 570 AM with Kyle Doperalski. Live updates via Twitter are available by following @NMStateAggies. Links to live stats and a live video stream can be found on NMStateSports.com.
Aggies and Bengals Tangle for Ninth Time
NM State and Idaho State have only met once since seven meetings in the early 1980's. That battle took place on Dec. 28, 2002 when the Aggies scored a 92-76 victory over the Bengals in Las Cruces in former head coach Nikita Lowry's final season.
The teams first met on Jan. 24, 1980 as members of the Intermountain Athletic Conference; ISU won a tight 87-84 contest in double overtime. The teams played home-and-home series from 1980 to 1982. NM State won four straight in the series before the Bengals' next victory in the final meeting as conference foes. The Aggies later hosted Idaho State in 1983 in the L'eggs Classic, winning by 10, 69-59.As a result, NM State leads the all-time series 6-2.
New Mexico Connections
Idaho State assistant coach Tony Giannotti spent the past two seasons in Las Cruces as an assistant coach to former head coach Darin Spence.
NM State in Home Openers
Over the past 38 years, the Aggies are 30-8 in home openers all-time. NM State won 16 straight home openers from the fall of 1985 through 2000. However since 2001, the Aggies are just 5-5 when taking the court for the first time at the Pan American Center.
NM State fell to Houston 82-62 in the home opener last season.
Scouting the Bengals
Idaho State, of the Big Sky Conference, finished last season with an 18-12 record and a 9-7 record in the league. ISU protected its home court last year with a 12-1 mark in Pocatello but struggled on the road going 6-11 away from home.
The Bengals are a veteran team, returning four starters that started at least 29 of 30 games a year ago and averaged more than 10 points per game. Senior guard Chelsea Pickering returns as the leading scorer averaging 16.2 points per game; junior guard Kaela Oakes dropped in 12.3 points per contest; junior forward Ashleigh Vella posted 12.0 tallies per game and sophomore guard Lindsey Reed scored 10.6 per contest and led the team with 6.4 boards per game. Sophomore guard Kara Jenkins started 15 contests for ISU.
That starting five began the Bengals' season opener at UTEP Saturday afternoon and led ISU to a 35-26 halftime lead. Idaho State shot 46 percent from the floor in the first half and made 84 percent from the line. ISU finished 0-of-11 from 3-point range in the game.
ISU's lead faded away in the second half as UTEP opened the half on a 17-2 run to take over the lead for good in a 79-63 win. The Bengals shot just 15 percent from the field after the break and got into foul trouble with three players whistled for four or more fouls. The ISU forwards, Vella and reserve Cydney Horton, combined for 27 points, 10 rebounds but also nine fouls between them.
Pickering led all scorers with 20 points including 10-of-10 from the free throw line. She also led the team with nine rebounds. Horton added 17 and Vella posted 10 points. ISU won the rebounding battle 45-38 but 27 turnovers proved costly as the Miners scored 28 points of miscues, including 20 in the second half.
Last Time against the Bengals
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Dec. 28, 2002) - The New Mexico State women's basketball team could jumped out to a big halftime lead en route to a decisive 92-76 win over Idaho State.
Aggie guard Sinnamonn Garrett sank all five of her attempts from long range as part of 11-of-14 shooting and a game-high 31 points. Forward Jenean Ford posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Teri Jones added 12 points.
NM State never trailed in the game and led by as many as 22, 57-35, after scoring the first five points of the second half. The Aggies shot 48 percent from the field and 43 percent from long range. NM State scored 35 points off of 18 ISU turnovers and posted 13 steals in the game.
Idaho State outscored NM State 41-40 in the second half but could not make up the early deficit. Guard Ashley Toner led four Bengals in double figures with 18 points. Halli Hickman was a perfect 6-of-6 off the bench and scored a dozen, guard Laraine Skow added 11 and center Annie Anderson recorded 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds.