LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State women’s basketball dominated Sam Houston in a 69-48 win at the Pan American Center on Thursday.

In their first season under head coach Jody Adams, New Mexico State is now off to a 4-1 start to Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play and improved their overall record to 9-8.

Sam Houston got as close to a first half lead when they trailed by three points, 17-14 with 9:08 left in the second quarter. The Aggies responded with a 15-0 scoring run over the next 4:48 to extend their lead. The Aggies largest lead of the half was 18 points after a Sylena Peterson jumper with 4:01 to go in the first half. New Mexico State entered halftime with a 36-21 lead.

In the second half, New Mexico State went up 48-29 with under five minutes left to play in the third quarter. The Aggies headed into the final frame of the game with a 54-36 lead over Sam Houston.

New Mexico State finished off the dominant performance to take a 69-48 win once the final buzzer went off.

The Aggies outscored the Bearkats 50-22 in the paint. Ashlee Strawbridge led the team in scoring with 13 points, a career-high for the product out of Ashburton, New Zealand. Sylena Peterson recorded 11 points, 5 rebounds, and six assists on the night. Shania Harper also recorded 11 points. Harper tacked on eight rebounds as well.

Sam Houston was led by Madelyn Batista, who scored 14 points in the contest. Chyna Allen managed to score 13 points on just 3-of-15 shooting from the floor.

“The single digit games that we lost; we could have won. We just didn’t know how to finish it,” NM State women’s basketball head coach Jody Adams said. “Now we are learning how to finish, we are learning exactly who we are. We are a defensive team first, so it is great just to see it all come together for them.”

“I think just staying within our culture. We base our execution off our culture,” NM State guard Molly Kaiser said. “Just staying together, owning the moment, and just coming out here and having fun and competing. That is what our main focus was on.”

New Mexico State (9-8, 4-1 WAC) will close out their three game homestand Saturday, Jan. 14 as they get set to host Utah Tech (11-5, 3-2 WAC). Tipoff is at 4:00 p.m. MT at the Pan American Center.