LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team held CSU Bakersfield to 26.9-percent shooting from the floor to win 67-62 in overtime against its Western Athletic Conference foe on Senior Day.
Aaliyah Prince recorded her second double-double of the season and led all scorers with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Soufia Inoussa scored nine points and grabbed nine boards.
The game started slow and the Aggies (11-17, 8-7 WAC) and Roadrunners (15-13, 7-8 WAC) tied at four with 4:44 to play in the first. Then, Prince scored a layup and Rodrea Echols hit a three before another Prince bucket for an 11-6 NM state lead. However, CSU Bakersfield recorded a three-point play with three seconds remaining in the first to cut the lead to 11-9 through one.
Both teams continued to play solid defense and the Aggies led by just one, 21-20 at the halftime break. New Mexico State held the Roadrunners to 8-28 shooting in the first half including 0-8 from three.
The third quarter was back-and-forth until the 2:35 mark when the Aggies went on a 10-2 run to lead 41-31 with a minute to play in the quarter. However, CSU Bakersfield closed to within 41-36 at the end of the third. The Roadrunners made just two field goals in the quarter, shooting 2-13 from the floor.
Bakersfield continued to battle and eventually took a 50-47 advantage with 4:48 to play in regulation. Then, Tayelin Grays came up with back-to-back layup’s, one thanks to a Prince steal, to tie it at 55. The roadrunners scored with 36 seconds left to take a 57-55 lead but Echols responded with the game-tying bucket at the 26 second mark. The Aggies had one more chance in regulation but couldn’t convert and the game went to overtime.
Inoussa hit a three and Grays scored in transition to give the Aggie a 62-57 lead early in the overtime period. After CSU Bakersfield cut it to 64-62 with 1:48 to play, NM State came up with some clutch stops and timely free throw shooting from Grays and Echols for a 67-62 Aggie win.
New Mexico State held Bakersfield to just 26.9 percent shooting from the field and forced 17 turnovers. The Aggies grabbed 50 rebounds for the second time this season to 40 for the Roadrunners.
The Aggies now warp-up the regular season at California Baptist on Thursday, March 5, in Riverside, Calif. Fans can watch that game live on the WAC Digital Network.