EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team mounted a furious rally that came up just short in a 79-76 loss to Western Michigan at the UTEP Thanksgiving Classic at the Don Haskins Center Saturday night.
NM State (1-7, 0-0 WAC) started slow while WMU (3-3, 0-0 MAC) got it going early as the Broncos raced out to an 18-7 advantage at the 5:44 mark. Western Michigan stayed in control for the remainder of the quarter and the Aggies trail 31-16 after one.
After Rodrea Echols drilled a three to start the second quarter, the Broncos Immediately answered back with a three of their own before an Aggie run cut the deficit to 36-25 with 7:06 in the quarter. However, the Broncos were able to stretch their lead out to 17, 46-29. Then, the Aggies closed the half on a 9-2 run to only trail by 10, 48-38, at the half.
Coming out of the break, Gia Pack got NM State started as it trimmed the WMU lead all the way down to two, 50-48, with 6:15 left in the third quarter. The Aggies and Broncos then traded buckets for the remainder of the quarter before Soufia Inoussa converted a three-point play with five seconds left to make it a one-point game, 59-58, heading into the fourth quarter.
Inoussa immediately gave the Aggies the lead in the fourth quarter, driving to the basket for a 60-59 Aggie lead. However, the Broncos regained the lead until Gia Pack tied it up at 64 with 7:32 to play. After WMU stretched its lead to 72-66, New Mexico State battled back to tie the game at 72 with 2:08 left in the game. With Western Michigan leading 77-74, Inoussa hit a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left to make it a one point game, 77-76. Inoussa then stole the inbounds pass but the Aggies turned it over and the Broncos hit a pair of free throws to ice the game, 79-76.
Pack led the way for NM State, matching a season-high with 29 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for her second-straight double-double. Inoussa added 12 points and nine rebounds while Prince scored 10.
The Aggies held a slight edge in field goal percentage, 46.6 to 45.0, and also out-rebounded the Broncos 37-35. However, New Mexico State had 18 turnovers to 15 for Western Michigan.
NM State is back in action when it returns to the Pan American Center to take on Western New Mexico on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m.