EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team dropped a 59-51 battle to Georgia State in the first game of the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic at the Don Haskins Center on Friday afternoon.
Aaliyah Prince was on fire to start the game, making the first two Aggie buckets for an early 4-0 lead. However, Georgia State clawed their way back and cut the lead 14-13. Then, Amanda Soderqvist hit a three in the closing seconds of the quarter and New Mexico State (1-6) led 17-15 after one quarter. Prince scored nine points in the quarter.
Micayla Buckner scored the first points of the second quarter, but Georgia State went on a run to take a 23-21 lead at the 6:39 mark. The Panthers continued to push, eventually stretching their lead to 32-23 with 2:37 to play in the half. However, Gia Pack hit back-to-back threes to end the half and New Mexico State trailed by three, 34-31, at halftime.
Georgia State then opened the third on a 5-0 run, forcing an Aggie timeout at the 7:58 mark with New Mexico State trailing 39-31. The Aggies battled back and cut the lead to 41-38 after Adrianna Henderson got to the rim. However, New Mexico State would only score one more basket before the end of the third quarter and trailed 45-40 after three.
The Aggies quickly trimmed the Georgia State lead to two, 46-44, after a pair of jumpers from Pack to start the fourth quarter. However, that’s as close as the Aggies would get and they fell 59-51.
New Mexico State was led by Pack with 17 points and 10 rebounds, her first double-double of the season and second for an Aggie this year following Shania Harper’s 14-and-12 game against Pepperdine. Prince finished with 11 points and seven boards.
As a team, the Aggies held Georgia State to 36.1-percent shooting, but shot just 32.8-percent themselves. New Mexico State forced 15 turnovers, but committed 16 of their own.
New Mexico State is back in action when it wraps up the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic with a showdown against Western Michigan on Saturday. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. at the Don Haskins Center.