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NMSU Women’s Hoops: Aggies Clip Redhawks Behind Salas and Davis

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – NM State fans saw the Aggie defense turn the Redhawks over 24 times en route to its seventh-straight, 69-54, victory Thursday night at the Pan American Center and also saw offensive outbursts from Brooke Salas and Shanice Davis.

Salas finished with a game-high and season-high 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go with seven boards, six assists and a steal. She was joined by Davis who turned in a season-high 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting, 12 of which came from beyond the arc.

Brianna Freeman also chipped in with 14 points and three blocks tonight as the trio combined for 52 of the team’s 69 points.

NM State also had relentless effort from Moriah Mack and Tamera William on the defensive end as the Aggies outscored the Redhawks 36-10 in points off turnovers.

The Aggies took an early 12-9 lead over Seattle U (8-11, 2-2 WAC), but Taelor Ross reeled off 10 points in the first quarter to give the Redhawks a 17-15 lead.

A 9-0 run by the Aggies (16-3, 5-0 WAC) midway through the second quarter gave them a brief lead before Shaylin Heredia tied it up at 24 with 1:18 left in the first half for SU. However, back-to-back corner three’s by Salas sandwiched by a Heredia jumper gave NM State the 30-26 lead at halftime.

The freshman was nearly perfect from the floor through the first half, hitting 6-of-7 shots for 14 points.

Freeman began to heat up for NM State after the break, scoring 10 of her 14 points in the second half.

After Seattle U cut the NM State lead to 36-33 on a triple from Masha Shtikel, the Aggies finished out the remaining 7:14 minutes of the quarter on a 15-6 run to take the 51-39 lead.

NM State continued to expand its lead in the fourth quarter on two-straight 3-pointers from Mack and Davis midway through the fourth to put the game out of reach.

Tyler Ellis had another big night for NM State, pulling down five boards in just eight minutes of action late the third quarter as the Aggies began to pull away.

The Aggies’ tough three-game stretch in Western Athletic Conference play continues on Saturday when NM State hosts rival CSU Bakersfield at 2 p.m. as part of the Pack The Pan Am 2.0.

The Aggies will also be honor two members of the Las Cruces community who have continually advanced women in sports on and off the court to celebrate the 30th anniversary of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

POSTGAME NOTES: With the win, NM State continues to chase the 24-3 squad from 1987-88 for best start to a season…The Aggies have also now won 38 of their last 44 games dating back to last season…This is the second time in a week where Davis has set a new season-high, posted 17 points last Thursday against UMKC…With her three blocks tonight, Freeman is now tied with Sasha Weber and Vicki Evans (74) for eighth all-time in career blocks at NM State…The Aggies outrebounded their opponents for just the seventh time this season, beating Seattle U to the glass 40-38, and have won all seven…Aggies are now 8-1 when opponents score first and 6-0 when holding opponents in the 50s.

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