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Las Cruces, NM — After leading by as many as 11 in the second half, the New Mexico State women’s basketball team fell 87-81 to Utah Valley on Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Pan American Center. The Aggies shot 43 percent from the floor, falling to a 7-7 record in Western Athletic Conference play.
NM State was led on the court by sophomore Abby Scott with 29 points, going 8-of-12 from range. Fellow sophomore Sasha Weber helped out with eight assists on her 15 points, while junior Danesia Williamson also hit 15 for the Aggies with three assists and two steals.
Redshirt sophomore Elena Holguin hit four buckets from beyond the arc, finishing with 12 points and helping out with five assists.
Defensively, freshmen Brianna Freeman and Tyler Ellis each grabbed eight rebounds, helping the team to 29 on the night.
“I thought we shot pretty well tonight,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “Abby shot well with eight three’s and Sasha helped out with her eight assists. We just let too many score. Five of their kids scored in double figures.”
UVU ended the night shooting 60 percent and grabbing 35 rebounds. The team had 11 turnovers to the Aggies eight and NM State beat UVU on second-chance points 14-8.
Scott opened things up with a three from the right side, but UVU scored the next seven for a lead over NM State. The lead was short-lived as Williamson hit a three and a jumper to go up 8-7 in the first four minutes.
The Aggies went back-and-forth with the Wolverines for the next few minutes with Williamson hitting a layup on the left side to put the Aggies up 18-15 in the first 10 minutes.
The Aggies went on a 10-4 run over UVU that included a three by Scott. Utah Valley broke up the run with a pair of layups. NM State took back a seven-point lead with a layup by Scott after redshirt sophomore Bradley Nash grabbed the offensive board.
With less than four minutes left in the half, the Wolverines made it a three-point game, but Holguin and Weber each hit buckets beyond the arc to go up 37-32.
UVU kept it close in the final minute, but Holguin ended the half with a three from the top of the line for a 40-35 lead over the Wolverines.
The Aggies shot 41 percent at the half with Holguin and Scott leading with nine points each. Weber and Williamson each had eight and Weber dominated with five assists. UVU shot 56 percent at the half with 18 total rebounds to the Aggies 16.
Weber started the second half with a three and Scott matched that with one of her own to quickly make it a 46-35 game in the first minute of the second half. UVU then came back for a 12-5 run to get within tree of the Aggies.
Scott hit two consecutive three’s and Ellis sank a layup on the left side of the rim, while UVU kept it close with a pair of layups and a thee of their own.
Leading 60-54, NM State grabbed a defensive rebound and make way for Scott to drive in for an uncontested layup with 9:58 on the clock. Utah Valley came up with 11 of the next 14 points to tie the game at 65 apiece before picking up its first lead of the half on a layup.
UVU went up on NM State 74-67 before Williamson hit a three from range, getting the Aggies within four of the Wolverines. Utah Valley then sank the next nine for a 79-70 lead when Holguin hit her fourth three of the game.
In the final minute of the game, Scott hit two three’s and Weber sank a layup inside the paint for the Aggies, but UVU wrapped it up with a jump shot and five free throws.
NM State closes out the 2014 home schedule against CSU Bakersfield at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 1. Fans can hear the game live on KSNM AM 570 with Jay Sanderson making the call.
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