(Courtesy: NMSU Athletics)
LAS VEGAS, Nevada - The New Mexico State women’s basketball team held Seattle U to just 27.0-percent shooting and led wire-to-wire to advance to the Western Athletic Conference semifinals with a 56-46 win over the Redhawks on Wednesday afternoon at the Orleans Arena.
NM State started the game strong, building a 15-6 lead by the end of the first quarter before eventually extending it to 21-10 early in the second.
However, the Redhawks closed the half on an 11-4 run to trim the lead to 25-21 at the halftime break.
The Aggies outrebounded Seattle U 24-13 in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Redhawks then drilled a three out of the half to make it a one-point Aggie lead, 25-24, before Shania Harper sparked a 15-6 Aggie run that pushed the lead to 40-30 with 2:34 to play in the third.
However, Seattle closed the period strong and NM State took a 41-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
The game slowed down considerably in the fourth quarter with neither defense giving an inch.
The Redhawks then closed the gap to two 45-43, forcing an Aggie timeout with three minutes to play.
NM State came out of the timeout in closing mode and dealt the knockout blow with an 11-3 run out of the timeout for the 56-46 final.
Three Aggies scored in double figures led by Las Vegas native Harper who posted career-highs in both points (15) and rebounds (13) to come up with her second-career double-double.
Aaliyah Prince added 12 and eight with Soufia Inoussa dropping 11 including 3-5 shooting from deep.
NM State suffocated Seattle all night, holding All-WAC honorees Bree Calhoun and McKenzi Williams under their season-scoring averages and only allowing the Redhawks to shoot 17-63 from the field.
The Aggies also outrebounded Seattle U 46-33.
The Aggies are now set for a WAC Semifinal matchup with undefeated and one-seeded California Baptist on Friday, March 12, at 12 p.m. (MT).
That game is scheduled to stream live on ESPN+ as well as broadcast live on 91.5 FM KRUX.