The New Mexico State women’s basketball team got a triple-double from Brooke Salas as it rode a dominant second half to an 82-64 victory over Alcorn State in the consolation game of the FIU Holiday Tournament from the Ocean Bank Convocation Center on Friday afternoon.
The Aggies (7-4) raced out to an early 6-2 lead but Alcorn State (1-10) fought back and made it a one point game at 11-10 with 2:25 in the quarter. However, NM State responded with two free throws from freshman Tayelin Grays and a lay-in from Brooke Salas to take a 15-12 lead into the second quarter. Salas recorded five blocks in the first quarter.
The second quarter went back forth with neither side able to take control of the game. It appeared New Mexico State was gaining momentum when it went up 29-24 on a three from Gia Pack with 2:50 left in the half. However, the Lady Braves ended the second on an 8-3 run and the two sides headed into the break tied at 32. Salas led the Aggies at the half with 12 points, seven blocks and seven rebounds.
With the score tied coming out of the half, the third quarter was all NM State with the Aggies opening the quarter on a 20-5 run to take a 52-37 lead at the media timeout with 4:20 remaining in the quarter. However, Alcorn State was able to hang around and cut the deficit to 11 at 56-45 heading into the fourth.
After the Lady Braves cut the lead to eight at 62-54 with 6:10 to play, New Mexico State went on a 10-2 run, including eight points from Salas, to push its lead to 74-56 at the 2:19 mark of the fourth quarter. The Aggies cruised from there, getting four free throws from Dominique Mills, a runner from Stabresa McDaniel and a lay-in from Grays for the final tally of 82-64.
Salas recorded the school’s first triple-double with 32 points, 22 rebounds and a school-record 11 blocks since Andrea Kabwasa on Feb. 15, 1992, against Cal State Fullerton. Her 32 points are a season high, her 22 rebounds a career high, as well as the fifth-best rebounding performance in NM State history, and her 11 blocks also a career high. She also surpassed Madison Spence for eighth on the NM State all-time scoring list as she sits at 1,504 points for her career.
Gia Pack added 16 points as the Aggies shot 43.9 percent from the field. The Lady Braves held a 56-44 rebounding advantage while NM State forced 17 turnovers while turning it over 15 times. The New Mexico State defense also put together a strong performance, blocking 16 shots and holding the Lady Braves to just 31 percent shooting.
The NM State women’s basketball team continues its road trip in the Golden State as it visits UC Riverside on Friday, December 28, at 8 p.m. (MT) before heading to Santa Barbara for a match up with UCSB on Sunday, Dec. 30, at 3 p.m.