In the third straight win in the Pan American Center, the New Mexico State women’s basketball team picked up an 87-81 win over non-conference opponent Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday, Feb. 23. The Aggies move to 12-14 on the season and notch the 600th win in program history, while welcoming several former Aggie players on Alumni Weekend.
NM State worked for its best shooting percentage of the season after shooting 55.6 percent in the opening half and finishing the game with a 50.8 field goal percentage. The team’s season high was due to the help of senior Camila Rosen and Danesia Williamson, who each earned career high numbers in the game.
Rosen collected a season-high 19 points and six steals. She was just one rebound off a double-double as she finished the game with nine. Williamson worked for a team-high and career best 28 points in the win over the Roadrunners. She was 10-12 from the line and 8-16 from the floor.
“I am so proud of the way this team is playing right now,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “We are having more players contribute to the game and that makes such a difference for us. To have Camila and Danesia with such big numbers, that makes today a great day. Camila could have had a triple double tonight, and that hasn’t happened here in more than 20 years.”
Along with Williamson and Rosen, freshman Abby Scott and senior Stefanie Gilbreath were each in the double figures with 10 and 17, points respectively.
NM State got out to an early lead with a 15-7 run over the Roadrunners in the early part of the opening half. The team got out to as much as an 11-point lead from a pair of buckets from Gilbreath. The senior finished the night with 17 points and seven rebounds.
The ‘Runners did not give up on the half, however, and tightened the gap to just two points at the 5:20 mark off a pair of free shots. A jump shot by Rosen and five consecutive baskets from the line helped NM State back to a six-point lead.
The Aggies ended the half with a 45-38 lead over CSUB with a season-high 55.6 shooting percentage. NM State had 12 points in the paint with eight off the bench and nine off Roadrunner turnovers in the half.
In the second half, NM State maintained the lead throughout and increased it to eight with a three by Rosen early in the half. The Roadrunners kept the Aggies’ lead within reach, not allowing more than an 11-point lead after the 12:28 mark.
After being up 73-62 with just over six minutes to play, CSUB began a comeback attempt. The ‘Runners were able to close the gap and make it a two-point game (79-77) with just over a minute to play. A bucket inside the paint by Williamson put the Aggies at 81 points, but NM State was able to hold on with the final six points coming off the hands of Williamson at the free throw line.
“It was great to see everyone play so well. I think it was important for us to have our alumni players out on such a milestone occasion, and I’m glad we could show them that win,” Trakh said.
The Aggies now look at the final home game of the 2012-13 season against Western Athletic Conference opponent, Denver. The Senior Night game is set for 6:30 p.m. on March 2.