The New Mexico State Aggie women's basketball team collected its third straight Western Athletic Conference win with a 61-58 win over the Texas State Bobcats on Saturday at the Strahan Coliseum. NM State boasts a 9-5 overall record with a 3-1 WAC record.
Senior Kelsie Rozendaal and freshman Sasha Weber each collected a double-double on the night with Rozendaal picking up 11 points and 11 rebounds after shooting 5-9 from the floor. Weber marked her first double-double as an Aggie with 11 points and 10 boards on the day. Those numbers, combined with senior Stefanie Gilbreath's 21 points helped the Aggies 34.8 shooting percentage and 51 rebounds on the night.
The Aggies worked for 22 points in the paint with 12 assists. As a team, the Aggies picked up 51 rebounds with 15 on the offensive side of the ball. The Aggies held senior guard Diamond Ford to just six points on the game after the reigning WAC Player of the Week averaged 21.8 before Saturday's game.
"I am really proud of the team today," head coach Mark Trakh said. "There are always things we can work on, but I am proud of what we did here today. It's a big win for us and we had really great contributions from a number of players. This is a win we are going to enjoy."
With an early lead off five points in the first three minutes by Gilbreath, the Bobcats came back to knot the game at 10 apiece. The Aggies regained a lead with eight unanswered points that included four points from Rozendaal.
The largest Aggie lead of the half didn't last long as the Bobcats fought back to tie the game at 25 with just over four minutes to play. Rutledge drove to the basket to move NM State ahead once again, a small scoring slump held the Aggie to just two points in nearly five minutes of play. Two layups by Gilbreath pushed the Aggies ahead to a halftime score of 31-29, but it was Texas State that came away with the final point of the period off a free throw by Jasmine Baugus.
The half wrapped up with Gilbreath leading the Aggies with 11 points (4-7), contributing to the Aggies 38.7 shooting percentage. The Aggies held Texas State to 27.3 percent shooting and nine total field goals.
Weber collected the first points of the second half with a long three from the left side before Gilbreath picked up a jumper from under the basket. A deep three by Williamson brought the Aggies back ahead by eight, but Weber's third basket behind the arc gave the team its largest lead 48-39 with 13 minutes left on the clock.
As the teams traded triples, freshman Alexis Nelson hit hers from the far left corner before the Bobcats picked one up of their own. The Bobcats moved the ball quickly and tightened the score to 54-53 with NM State still ahead.
Gilbreath worked for some big moves on the day including a throng three to move the Aggies up at 60 points. With just 11.7 seconds on the clock, Williamson sank the score setting free throw, giving the Aggies their third win in WAC play and second on the road. The Aggies now look to host Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 10 and Idaho on Saturday, Jan. 12. Both games are slated for a 6:30 p.m. start and will air on AggieVision and ESPN3.com.