LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The first win of the Jody Adams-Birch era came on the Pan American Center floor and came in dominant fashion.

New Mexico State women’s basketball (1-1, 0-0 WAC) took home an 80-39 victory over New Mexico Highlands to the home court and picked up the first win of the season.


“When I think of wins, it’s our win. It’s a win for our program, our culture, our community. I guess I just don’t think of it as my win, at all,” stated Adams following the game. “When you get to play in front of these amazing fans like we did tonight, I mean, it just helps so much in what we’re trying to do here and taking this program to where it’s been before.”

All 12 Aggies who suited up for the contest saw the floor, ten of whom found their way into the scoring column.

NM State jumped out to a 20-11 lead after the opening frame. The Cowgirls hung around in the first quarter, maintaining a 7-7 tie under the five-minute mark. A layup from Sylena Peterson followed by the first career three-pointer from Lucia Yenes sparked a 10-1 run for NM State.

“I guess if we reflect back to my days, which was a long time ago, you know, I’d say sure there’s a little bit of nerves,” joked Adams on the slow start. “I’d like for us to start more aggressive.  That’s what that starting five is in there for is to start us off aggressively. Whether we make mistakes or we’re not perfect, I just want to play an aggressive brand of basketball and we’ll figure out the rest later in practice.”

After Michaela Martinez split a pair of free throws with one minute remaining in the first quarter, New Mexico Highlands went on a lengthy scoring drought. The Aggies went 6:56 without allowing a basket, pulling out to a 17-point lead in the process. NM State kept the pedal to the floor in the second quarter, outscoring the Cowgirls by 14.

At halftime, NM State held a 22-point advantage over New Mexico Highlands and never looked back. Junior guard Taylor Donaldson caught fire in the third quarter, scoring nine of the Aggies 17 points. Donaldson finished the game leading all Aggie scorers in the young season. The junior dropped 17 points on the Cowgirls, shooting 75% from the floor.

With six days between contests, the Aggies will have plenty of time to catch their breath and recover before their next contest. Adams and company have no short order ahead of them, though, as in-state rival New Mexico comes to town on Tuesday night.