STEPHENVILLE, Texas – The Aggies suffered their fourth single-digit loss on Thursday evening as they fell to Tarleton, 56-58, in their first WAC road game of the season.
NM State’s top scorer on the night was junior guard Soufia Inoussa who tallied 12 points on 4-of-9 from the field and also added a pair of steals. Shania Harper gave the Aggies a boost off the bench as she poured in 10 points while also grabbing six rebounds and nabbing two steals. As a native of nearby Dallas, Jade Bradley also seemed comfortable as she finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
· In an atypical start to the contest, the Aggies were up 1-0 prior to the opening tip thanks to a pregame technical given to Tarleton for shot clock issues.
· The Texans took the lead shortly after the ball was tossed into play as they began the game on a 6-0 scoring run.
· The Aggies responded with a quick 4-0 run as Jade Bradley and Tayelin Grays each found their way to the hoop for a pair of layups.
· After being down 7-9 at the 5:37 mark in the opening quarter, the Aggies succumbed to a 14-8 Tarleton run that put the home squad up 10 entering the second quarter.
· Turnovers were an issue for NM State in the first quarter as they gave the ball away on five different occasions, four of which came in the first five minutes of the game.
· A jumper from Molly Kaiser and a three-pointer from Taylor Donaldson kicked off the scoring for the Aggies in the second.
· However, the start of the second quarter was mostly back-and-forth as the Texans remained in front by 10 points after the first 3:17 had passed.
· The Aggies then rattled off a 9-2 run over the next 6:04 to pull within three points heading into halftime.
· Four of Shania Harper’s season-high 10 points came during the scoring spurt as she scored off an offensive put-back and a fast break layup with seven seconds on the clock to leave the score at 29-32 after two quarters.
· The first Aggie possession of the second half resulted in a knockdown three-pointer from the corner for Soufia Inoussa, tying the score at 32-32.
· Jade Bradley piggy-backed off of Inoussa’s triple as she went coast-to-coast to give the Aggies their first lead since they were ahead 1-0 to start the game.
· The Texans retook the lead at the 6:32 mark of the third quarter before Mel Isbell evened the score once again.
· Tarleton then put together a 7-2 scoring run to finish the quarter with a six-point advantage, up 44-38.
· After the two competing teams combined for just 21 points in the third quarter and 25 in the second, the final quarter featured 32 points between Tarleton and NM State.
· The Aggies were on the positive end of the fourth quarter scoring as they posted 18 points in the final period.
· Back-to-back jumpers from Molly Kaiser helped the Aggies climb to within two points after just 1:45 had surpassed in the fourth.
· Tarleton fought its way to a six-point lead at the 4:45 mark before three-straight points from Inoussa followed by a successful Tayelin Grays layup slotted the Aggies just one-point shy of the Texans.
· The game was essentially decided after the Texans went on a 4-0 run from the 2:14 mark to the 12-second mark in the final period.
· Soufia Inoussa’s triple in the final seconds gave the Aggies 56 points at the final buzzer, leaving them just two-points shy in their road matchup with Tarleton.
· The Aggies will now make the short trip over to Abilene, Texas, to face off with Abilene Christian in a Saturday night collision. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. MT and the game can be found on ESPN+.
· Both programs will be coming off of a loss as the Wildcats fell to Grand Canyon, 69-74, on Thursday eveninig to move their overall record to 11-5 and their WAC record to 3-2.