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NMSU WBB struggles in overtime at LA Tech

NMSU Athletics

RUSTON, Louisiana (KVIA) -- The Aggies played two games this week, starting at Sam Houston and finishing at Louisiana Tech. Both times, NM State held a first-half lead, but relinquished it by the third quarter. Each time, they came back and found themselves with another chance in overtime. Unfortunately for the Crimson & White, Saturday's result also mirrored Thursday's, as the visitors were unable to capitalize during the extra period. On their Senior Day, the Lady Techsters earned a 70-63 overtime win. With the loss, NM State joined LA Tech at 5-8 in CUSA action. 

First Quarter
A blazing 6-0 start forced a timeout from the home bench just over two minutes into the contest. The Lady Techsters responded with some sharp adjustments, ripping off a 17-7 run to go ahead by four. Tylie Jones sank a mid-range jumper and Sylena Peterson finished a layup inside to even the score at 17-17 at the end of the first quarter. 

Second Quarter
NM State rode its strengths in the second frame, holding LA Tech to just two points for the first 9 minutes and 59 seconds. Robyn Lee scored every point for the Lady Techsters in the frame. She sank a mid-range jumper with 1:46 remaining, ending a stretch of 9:22 without a single point. Later, Lee drove and converted on a layup with less than a second remaining, sending the game to halftime with the Crimson & White in front 26-21. While the home team went the first 8 minutes and 14 seconds without scoring, NM State went on a run of their own. Fanta Gassama dominated the boards, hauling in seven rebounds to LA Tech's eight as a team in the first half. A Jaila Harding 3-pointer brought the lead to its largest point of the first half at nine (26-17 with 3:04 remaining). NM State still held a 26-21 advantage heading into the locker room. 

Third Quarter
Lee carried her hot shooting performance into the second half, igniting a rapid comeback from the home team. LA Tech took a 35-34 lead at the media timeout six minutes into the quarter. The Aggies missed all four 3-point attempts in the frame, but had six different members connect from the field, minimizing the damage from LA Tech's outburst. Thanks to a 22-point stanza, the Lady Techsters held a 43-39 advantage with 10 minutes left to play.

Fourth Quarter
Similar to Thursday's contest with Sam Houston, NM State found themselves trailing but well within striking distance to start the final frame. The Crimson & White were behind by between two and six points for the first half of the quarter. Fanta Gassama converted on an old-fashioned three-point play, sinking a free throw after a made layup to tie the game at 48 apiece with 5:03 remaining. One of the biggest shots of the game came when Sylena Peterson connected on a corner 3-pointer to pull ahead by two at the 2:52 mark. Later, Tylie Jones converted on a pair of free throws, extending the lead to four with just over a minute left to play. LA Tech answered with their own two foul shots, before sinking a layup with just eight ticks left on the clock, tying it at 55 all. On the ensuing possession, the ball found its way to Molly Kaiser for her signature pullup mid-range jumper. The buzzer-beating shot just missed off back iron, queueing overtime knotted at 55-55.

LA Tech was awarded 10 free throws in overtime, but NM State did not get that luxury. Eight points on four made field goals did signal a stark improvement from Thursday's extra period. However, the Lady Techsters sank eight of 10 shots at the charity stipe, scoring just two of their final nine points from the field over the last 3:09 of game action. The Aggies' shooting struggles continued from deep, missing all three attempts from beyond the arc. The road team committed five fouls and coughed up a turnover in the five-minute stanza, while the home team had zeros in both categories. NM State couldn't muster up a late comeback, falling 70-63 in overtime. 

Numbers of Note

  • The Aggies (4-for-8) hit 18 less free throws and had 20 less attempts than the home team (22-28). Both of those numbers are season highs.
  • Previously, the season record for largest free throw disparity was -18, set twice against both Incarnate Word and when hosting Sam Houston. The Aggies have had equal or fewer foul shots than their opponents in 9 of their last 10 games. They are -70 in free throws across those games.
  • This week, NM State shot 5-26 from 3-point range (19.2%)
  • Spanning two overtime periods (10 minutes), the Aggies were outscored 27-10 this week.
  • The Aggies are now 0-14 when trailing or tied after the first quarter (11-1 when leading). 
  • NM State is now 0-13 when tied or trailing after the third quarter (11-2 when leading). 
  • The Aggies went to overtime at almost the exact same score as Thursday. Sam Houston had 54 after four periods, while LA Tech had 55.
  • NM State fell to 1-3 in overtime games this season. Their one win was also against LA Tech, when they toppled the Lady Techsters 66-64 in thee 45th minute of that contest less than a month ago.

Up Next
NM State will return home for its final two games at the Pan American Center of 2023-24. Up first, the Aggies will host Liberty on Thursday, Feb. 29 before welcoming Jax State for Senior Day two days later. The Lady Flames and Aggies will tip off at 6:00 PM MT. Both matchups will be streamed live on ESPN+ and available to follow via

For complete coverage of NM State Women's Basketball, follow us on Twitter (@NMStateWBB), Instagram (@NMStateWBB) and like us on Facebook (NM State Women's Basketball). You can also follow along with Aggie Women's Basketball via

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Bea Martinez

NMSU Athletics


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