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NMSU Women Drop 84-67 Contest to Arizona

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Nov. 21) – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team could not overcome slow starts in each half as the Aggies fell to Arizona 84-67 in the Pan American Center Monday night.

Arizona jumped out to an early 12-0 lead to open the game but the Aggies fought back cutting the margin to one point, 33-32, a minute before halftime. The Wildcats scored the last four points of the half and 12 of the first 14 of the second half to take control of the game.

Senior forward Erica Sanchez scored a career-high 16 points including four three-point baskets to lead the Aggies. Classmate Tabytha Wampler posted her third double-double of the season, No. 12 of her career, with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman guard Hannah Womack and senior guard Kaitlyn Soto scored 13 and 10 points, respectively.

NM State shot 43.1 percent from the floor while Arizona made 47.9 percent of its shots after making over 54 percent of its second-half attempts. Both teams shot fairly well from long range as the Aggies drilled 38.9 percent (7-of-18) and the Wildcats dropped in 33.3 percent (6-of-18). Arizona out-rebounded NM State 39-36 in the game but the Wildcats dominated in the paint scoring 48 points in the lane compared to the Aggies’ 18 tallies. UofA forced NM State into 21 turnovers but committed just 12.

The Aggies drop to 1-3 on the season while Arizona remains undefeated at 4-0.

“I thought it was tough to dig ourselves out of a hole twice when we got down early in the second half,” said Aggie head coach Mark Trakh. “Our kids are working really hard out there, that’s all I can ask. We need to do a better job on our turnovers though. The (Arizona) guards played really well tonight. We’re looking forward to getting back on track this weekend in our tournament.”

Arizona opened the game on a 12-0 run over the first 4:47 of the contest. Junior forward Chrissy Fletcher scored the first Aggie bucket at the 15:13 mark of the first half. The Wildcats stretched their lead to as many as 16 in the first half at 22-6 with 11:23 left before the break.

NM State then caught fire with a 14-2 run of its own over the next 5:37 to close to within four of Arizona, 24-20, with 5:46 remaining in the half. UofA scored five straight over the next 1:30 to make it 29-20 with 4:16 on the clock.

Sanchez scored eight for the Aggies over the final 5:46 of the half, including two three-point baskets to help NM State close in on Arizona. A bucket by senior forward Kelsie Rozendaal cut the Arizona lead to one, 33-32, with a minute left before the break.

Arizona’s Davellyn Whyte scored four straight points to end the half and give the Wildcats a 37-32 halftime lead.

NM State shot 47.6 percent from the floor in the half while Arizona shot 42.5 percent from the field. But the Wildcats shot nearly twice as much as the Aggies making 17-of-40 to 10-of-21 from NM State. Each team made three treys in the half but the Aggies made it to the line 12 times and made nine free throws while UofA went 0-1 from the line. The Wildcats won the battle of the boards 22-15 in the first half. NM State committed 10 turnovers while forcing seven in the first 20 minutes.

The second half started much like the first half, as Arizona jumped out to a 12-2 run over the first 4:06 to lead 49-34. Sanchez drained a pair of threes in the second half to attain her career high and make it 64-48 Arizona with nine minutes remaining. The Wildcats settled into their offense and was able to keep a double-digit cushion the rest of the way.

Whyte and fellow guard Candice Warthen led the Wildcats with 20 points apiece and forward Erica Barnes led Arizona with nine rebounds to go with 15 points.

NM State continues its five-game homestand as host of the Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic this weekend. The Aggies battle North Dakota Saturday at 4 p.m. and then close the tourney against Southern Utah at noon on Sunday.

Source: NMSU Athletics

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