LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State (6-8, 1-1 WAC) dropped a close game to Southern Utah (6-7, 2-0 WAC) on Saturday putting an end to their three-game win streak and giving them their first loss in conference this season.

The Aggies led the Thunderbirds most of the way only trailing for nine minutes the whole contest. Molly Kaiser had herself another great performance after matching her season high in points (18) and coming just two points shy of her career high (20). Shania Harper had herself nice outing as well scoring 12 points for her second highest total of the year. Ene Adams was a monster on the glass once again as she tied her career high in boards with 10.

After hitting on 50% of their shots in the first half, the Aggies offence struggled to find a rhythm in the second half, especially in the final quarter, hitting on just 24% of their shots in the final 20 minutes of action. The Aggies defense was putting in work again forcing 22 turnovers in the game and holding the Thunderbirds to just two made threes in the game.

First Quarter

  • The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair featuring four lead changes.
  • NM State won the opening tip and scored a basket on their first possession following a Molly Kaiser made jumper
  • Soufia Inoussa connected on a corner three the very next possession giving the Aggies an early 5-0 lead.
  • Southern Utah answered by going on a 8-0 run to take a three point lead with 4:35 left in the quarter
  • The Aggies retook the lead with just under a minute to go after Molly Kaiser drained a second chance three coming off a Thunderbird turnover.
  • NM State would hold onto the lead the remainder of the period as they took a 16-13 lead heading into the second frame.

Second Quarter

  • Lucia Yenes got the second period started by hitting a mid-range jumper from the wing coming off a Soufia Inoussa assist.
  • A few possessions later, Ene Adams found Yenes again for an easy driving layup in the paint.
  • Shania Harper followed suit with a driving layup of her own giving the Aggies a 22-15 lead at the 8-minite mark of the quarter
  • The Aggies were able to take their largest lead of the game (10) following a Southern Utah turnover forced by Sabou Gueye. Lucia Yenes received the pass from Gueye in the midcourt and ran alongside her on the fastbreak. Yenes faked like she was oing to drive inside but decided to go with a beautiful behind the back pass to Gueye for the score.
  • Southern Utah was able to chip into the Aggie lead before the half, but NM State still held a 34-29 lead over the Thunderbirds heading to the break.

Third Quarter

  • Southern Utah connected on their first two buckets coming out of the half to bring the Aggie lead to one.
  • Molly Kaiser made the Aggies first four points out of the break after hitting a pair of free throws and a jumper from the wing.
  • Ene Adams hit a second chance layup the following possession after Ashlee Strawbridge’s three points attempt landed in her hands.
  • The Thunderbirds later tied the game at 40 a after hitting a pair of free throws with 4:30 left in the quarter.
  • Sylena Peterson retook the lead the next play with a made jumper in the paint.
  • With 2:06 left in the period, Shania harper backed up against her defender and made a pretty turnaround jumper to give the Aggies a four-point lead.
  • Taylor Donaldson would close out the third quarter with a last second jumper just outside the painted area sending the Aggies into the final frame with a 55-45 lead.

Fourth Quarter

  • Southern Utah went on a 6-0 run to start the final quarter taking their first lead since the opening period.
  • NM State retook the lead with after Ashlee Strawbridge hit a jumper just inside the three-point line giving for her first made basket of the day.
  • Southern Utah tied the game with 4:30 left in the game after hitting a second chance layup by their leading scorer Cherrita Daugherty
  • Daugherty regained the lead for the thunderbirds their next time up the floor after she connected on a midrange jumper giving her 24 points in the game.
  • NM State called a timeout right after hoping to regroup after only hitting on one shot the entire quarter.
  • The Aggies battled hard to take back the lead but were just unable to get any shots to go down in the final period as Southern Utah secured a 61-58 victory on New Year’s Eve.

Notes

  • New Mexico State won the opening tip and scored their opening possession
  • Molly Kaiser nearly set a career high with 18 points in the game coming just two points shy
  • Ene Adams tied a career high in rebounds with 10 for the day. She now has 31 boards over her last four games
  • The Aggies won the turnover battle again after forcing 22 Thunderbird turnovers and only giving up 16 themselves.
  • NM States largest lead was 10 which came in the final minute of the fourth quarter
  • The Aggies longest scoring run was six.