The New Mexico State women’s basketball team outscored California Baptist 60-25 in the second half as it picked up its 14th-straight win, 92-64, in its last regular-season game of the 2018-19 season at the CBU Events Center Saturday afternoon.
California Baptist (18-11, 11-5) got on the board first, but back-to-back buckets from Gia Pack gave NM State (23-6, 15-1) a 4-2 lead with 7:20 in the first. New Mexico State then raced to a 10-6 lead before a three from the Lancers put them ahead 11-10 with 3:38 in the first. Stabresa McDaniel gave the Aggies a 12-11 lead but another three gave CBU the 14-12 lead. Trailing 16-15, McDaniel knocked down a three to give the Aggies an 18-16 lead with 2:15 to play in the first. The two sides then traded baskets and ended the first in a 20-20 tie.
New Mexico State then opened the second on a 9-4 run capped by a bucket from Stabresa McDaniel for a 29-24 Aggie lead at the 6:56 mark. However, CBU then closed the final 6:05 of the half on a 14-3 run as they took a 39-32 lead into the half. NM State shot just 13-35 in the half (37.1 percent) but forced 12 Lancer turnovers.
The second half was all Aggies as they flipped a switch coming out of the break. Brooke Salas scored seven-straight NM State points to start the half and cut CBU’s lead to two at 41-39, forcing a Lancer timeout with 8:23 in the third.
After Adenike Aderinto made back-to-back lay-ins, Dominique Mills converted a three-point play and Gia Pack hit a free-throw line jumper to give New Mexico State a 48-45 lead with 5:33 remaining in the period. The three-point play from Mills kicked off a 22-4 Aggie run, capped by a Salas three at the buzzer to end the third and give New Mexico State a 65-49 with one quarter to play. The Aggies outscored California Baptist 33-10 in the third while shooting 14-26 in the quarter and held CBU to 23.5 percent shooting (4-17).
NM State’s dominance continued into the fourth quarter as it extended its lead to 81-59 at the 2:53 mark before an Aaliyah Prince hit a three that sparked a quick run that extended the lead to 30 at 89-59. From there, New Mexico State cruised the rest of the way to its 14th-straight win, 92-64.
Salas finished with her 19th double-double of the season with 22 points and 14 rebounds as she moved into fifth-place on the single-season rebounding list (329). For the third-straight game Pack nearly notched a triple-double as she finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. McDaniel and Prince also chipped in double-figure scoring totals with 16 and 14 respectively.
The Aggies shot 50.7 percent from the floor while holding the Lancers to just 33.8 percent shooting and outrebounded the Lancers 45-41. NM State forced 25 turnovers and held CBU, the WAC’s top offense, to 16 points below its season average (80. 4 points per game).
The Aggies now head to Las Vegas, Nev., as the no. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament where they’ll take on Chicago State on Wednesday, March 13, at 1 p.m. (MT). All of NM State’s WAC tournament games are set to stream live on ESPN+.