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The New Mexico State women's basketball team collected its first road win of Western Athletic Conference play on Thursday evening against the Roadrunners of UTSA with a final score of 69-52 at the Convocation Center. NM State moves ahead to 8-5 on the season and 2-1 in WAC play. The Roadrunners move to 7-7 overall, 1-2 in conference play.
Junior Jasmine Rutledge notched a career night with 15 points, including nine in the first half. Rutledge also earned seven of the Aggies eight field goals on the night, going 7-10 overall. She contributed to the team's 47.4 shooting percentage while senior Stefanie Gilbreath led the team with 19 points on the night. The senior also picked up seven rebounds and three assists to match her season high. The Aggies shot 35 percent from behind the three-point line with Gilbreath sinking five of those. Sophomore Danesia Williamson earned a career-high six assists with three steals in the win.
"I thought the team played extremely well tonight," assistant coach Tamara Inoue said of the Aggies. "It's great to see our freshmen like Abby Scott and Shay Young playing as well as they are this early in conference play."
NM State jumped to an early lead in the first half of play with a three by Scott, but the Roadrunners came back quickly to move ahead within the first 5 minutes of play. NM State answered back with a 14-2 point run over UTSA with two three's by Gilbreath and a pair of field goals by Rutledge.
Keeping the game flow in its favor, NM State outscored the Roadrunners 17-2 in the last 10 minutes of the first period. Another pair of three's by Gilbreath along with a couple of field goals by Rutledge helped the Aggies to a 37-19 lead before sophomore Simone Ruedin sank her first bucket of the night to close the half 37-19.
The Aggies shot 57.2 percent from the floor in the opening half and 54.5 percent from the three-point line. Gilbreath collected 14 points in the half, going 4-5 from behind the arc. Rozendaal also picked up four of her rebounds and six points in the opening half while Williamson managed five assists to match her career high as an Aggie.
The second period started with a layup from Williamson before UTSA came back with a 10-2 run over the Aggies to move within 12 points of the Aggies. A pair of layups by Weber and fellow freshman Shay Young brought the Aggies back before Gilbreath hit her fifth bucket from behind the three-point line.
Rutledge hit two from the line and Weber knocked down her third basket of the night to help the Aggies power back to a 20-point lead with 11:26 to play in the second period. Chrissy Fletcher pushed the Aggies over the mark her first bucket of the game before Ruedin picked up a steal and drove it in for a layup.
Weber contributed to five of the Aggies final nine points on the night before the Roadrunner came away with nine points of their own to wrap the game at 69-52 in favor of NM State.
NM State tallied 25 bench points in the win with 23 off turnovers. Forcing 18 Roadrunner turnovers, the Aggies picked up 32 rebounds and seven steals.
"To get 25 bench points was huge for us," Inoue said. "It it's great to see all of our players contributing and moving the ball like we do in practice."
The Aggies make the short trip to San Marcos, Texas, to face the Texas State Bobcats on Saturday at 1 p.m. MT. Texas State lost in overtime on Thursday evening to Denver in overtime 73-70.
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