The New Mexico state women’s basketball team fell 66-53 to the UTSA Roadrunners on Saturday, Feb. 2. The Aggies move to 9-12 on the season and 3-8 in Western Athletic Conference play.
Senior Stefanie Gilbreath continued on her double-digit streak as she collected 16 points for the Aggies, marking her 12th straight game scoring in double figures. Freshman guard Sasha Weber picked up 12 of the Aggies total points and four of the six assists on the night. It was senior Kelsie Rozendaal that earned eight of the Aggies total 28 rebounds in the loss, marking for 139 on the season.
NM State worked for a 35.1 shooting percentage on the game after shooting 38.9 percent in the first half alone.
“My main concern after tonight’s game is to get the team back in the gym,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “This team is working hard and that is showing on the box score. We just have to work on making those key shots. We’ll get back at it on Monday to refocus and try to build for the week ahead.”
The Aggies opened the first half with three buckets behind the arc after allowing the Roadrunners to light up the board first with four points. A layup by Rozendaal elevated the Aggies to an early 12-9 lead before UTSA was able to sink another basket.
A bucket by sophomore Danesia Williamson and a pair of free baskets by Senior Camila Rosen pushed the Aggies lead to five points, but the Roadrunners were quick to rebound their way to eight more points to tie the game at 16 apiece with 7:10 on the clock.
The teams traded shots, keeping the score locked until a three from the top of the arc by Weber moved the Aggies ahead 24-22 with just over four minutes left in the half. UTSA took control in the final minutes of the half with an 11-2 run to close the period with a 33-26 lead over the Aggies.
At the break, the Aggies shot 38.9 percent from the floor with freshman Abby Scott leading the Aggies with seven points off two three pointers. The teams were knotted with four assists and the Roadrunners had a slight advantage with 18 rebounds to the Aggies 13.
UTSA maintained the momentum from late in the first half by collecting the first five points of the period before the Aggies rotated the board with two free shots by junior Jasmine Rutledge. The teams traded possessions with the Aggies staying at a pace of 10 points behind the Roadrunners.
UTSA went on a 13-3 run over the Aggies with Gilbreath hitting a layup in the paint and a free bucket. Down 53-35, Gilbreath continued to push for the Aggies with eight points to the Roadrunners five.
NM State continued to drive to the basket, but the work of UTSA’s Ashley Spaletta proved to be a challenge as she notched five three’s in the game, four of them back-to-back. In the final five minutes of play, the Aggies worked for five points off free throws and a layup from Gilbreath and Weber. The Roadrunners slowed their pace with just six points in the final minutes of the game and NM State’s four points in the final 37 second was not enough to pull the Aggies out of the loss.
NM State now looks to two road games in the coming week with a meeting at Idaho on Thursday, Feb. 7, and the first trip to Seattle as conference opponents on Feb. 9.