• March has arrived, and #7 NM State women’s basketball (15-15, 10-8 WAC) is ready to make some noise in this year’s WAC Tournament when they play #10 UTRGV (12-17, 6-12 WAC) Monday at 7 p.m. MST from the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
• The Aggies finished off their regular season last week by splitting a pair of matchups in Texas to Stephen F. Austin (L, 62-47) and Sam Houston (W, 70-64).
• The Vaqueros come into Las Vegas having lost their last matchup to California Baptist (81-76) in overtime.
• NM State is 18-3 against UTRGV all-time and have won their last three contests with them, including a 67-69 victory over them on the road back in December, marking Jody Adams’s 200th career win as a head coach.
Last Time Out
• NM State finished the regular season with an even 15-15 overall record, going 10-8 in conference in Jody Adams first season at the helm after their 70-64 road victory in Hurstville, Texas last Thursday.
• This season marks the first time the Aggies are .500 or better since the 2018-2019 season when the team finished 27-6 overall, going 15-1 in conference play.
• The Aggies are now 3-0 on the season when they score 70 or more points on an opponent.
• Molly Kaiser’s 24 points is the second highest scoring output on the season for the Texas native. She’s now averaging 20.7 points a game over her last four outings.
• Soufia Inoussa’s 16-points is also the second highest scoring game this season for the senior from Sweden.
• NM State finished the game with a 53.8 shooting percentage – just the sixth time this season they have eclipsed the 50% mark in a game.
• Over half of the Aggies points (38) came inside the paint. Only nine of their points were scored via the three ball.
• Sam Houston led NM State for over 25-minutes of action while the Aggies only held a lead for about 11 minutes of play.
Aggies in the WAC Tournament
• NM State is 21-11 in the WAC Tournament all-time and 13-9 since the tournament moved to Las Vegas in 2011.
• The Aggies have brought home the WAC Tournament Trophy four times in its history (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019) with the last one coming in 2019 after they beat Chicago State (90-54), UMKC (91-80) and UTRGV (76-73).
• Since their last championship team, NM State is 2-2 in the tournament, including a loss in the first round of last year’s tournament to #7 Lamar (65-54).
Defense. Defense. Defense
• NM State is allowing just 60.7 points a game this season to opponents, the second-best scoring defense in the WAC this season.
• The Aggies possess one of the best turnover margins in the country, tallying the 33rd best turnover margin nationally (+4.17) and second-best margin in the WAC. As a team, NM State forces 18.7 turnovers a contest, which is 43rd best in the nation and third best in the WAC.
• With 21 double-digit performances on the season – including 16 in conference play – Molly Kaiser has been a consistent force for the Aggies on the scoring front, especially over the last four games.
• Kaiser currently paces the team in scoring averaging 12.7 points per game on the season with that number jumping up to 13.3 points a contest since the start of WAC play and is averaging 21 points a contest over her last four outings. Kaiser also leads the team in field goal percentage (.422) and free throw percentage (.807).
• On January 14th, 2023, Kaiser eclipsed the 500-career point mark after dropping 15 points against Utah Tech – also setting a career high in rebounds (8) and steals (5).
• During the regular season finale last week in Texas, Kaiser helped lead the Aggies, along with Soufia Inoussa, to a second half comeback over the Bearkats. After only scoring two points during the first 20-minutes of play, Kaiser flipped a switch in the second half, scoring 22-points of the Aggies 45 second-half points.
Scouting the Vaqueros
• UTRGV (12-17, 6-12 WAC) comes into Las Vegas as the tenth overall seed in the WAC Tournament.
• The Vaqueros average 62.7 points a game, the eighth best scoring margin in the WAC this season. The team is also allowing 67.6 points to opponents this season, which is the seventh best average in the conference.
• The team is led in scoring by second year guard Iyana Dorsey who is averaging 16-points a game. She also leads the team in free-throw percentage (.875) and steals per game (1.1).
The winner of Monday’s contest will move onto the quarterfinal round Wednesday to face the #2 seed in this year’s tournament, Southern Utah.