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Las Cruces, NM — The New Mexico State women’s basketball team defeated the Seattle U Redhawks 86-81 on Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Pan American Center. The win moved NM State to 5-5 in Western Athletic Conference play and 8-15 on the year. Career-high nights came from junior Danesia Williamson and redshirt sophomore Bradley Nash, while NM State finished with three scoring in double figures.
Williamson notched a career high 36 points, marking her fourth game this season to score 30 or more points for the Aggies. It was also the second time in a week that she set a new personal best. The junior was 14-of-16 from the free-throw line and hit four three’s in the game. Nash was the biggest defensive help for the team with 14 rebounds on the night. Twelve came in the first half alone and five were offensive.
Sophomore Sasha Weber hit 20 points and had seven rebounds in the win. She also tallied three assists, a block and a steal. The third Aggie to score in double figures was freshman Moriah Mack. Her 12 points was just two shy of her career best. She also helped defensively with nine rebounds.
The team shot an impressive 44 percent from beyond the arc and was 39 percent from the floor. The team did out-rebound the Redhawks 45-43 and gathered 27 points off turnovers.
The Aggies went up 6-4 early in the game off a pair of three’s by Mack and Weber. Seattle came back to make it a one-point game 7-6, but Weber continued with another three, putting the Aggies up by four.
The up-tempo game continued with the teams trading buckets for the next couple of minutes and Seattle took its first lead of the game with 11:32 on the clock 16-14, but two free shots by Williamson got the game tied back up.
Seattle pulled ahead of the Aggies with six straight, but NM State went on a small 8-0 run to take back the lead 24-21 off a long shot by Williamson. The Aggies saw impressive work from Mack to keep the lead with a drive to the basket after grabbing a rebound on the other side of the court.
With the 27-23 lead and 5:22 left in the half, Seattle hit a layup, but Weber found comfort at the line to hit three in a row.
The Aggies went on a 10-4 run next for a 10-point lead over the Redhawks with the help of freshman Brianna Freeman’s first jumper of the day. A three by SU broke up the deficit with a three and a pair from the line, but NM State held onto the lead going into halftime 39-27.
At the half, NM State led the Redhawks 39-32 with 12 points coming from both Weber and Williamson. The key to NM State’s first half success was Nash, who had 12 rebounds for a career high. Seattle had just 17 rebounds as a team.
The Aggies led 45-41 after the first three and a half minutes of the second half. Seattle U was able to outscore NM State to start the period with a few from the line.
The Redhawks got within two of the Aggies, but two from the line by Nash put NM State back up by four. It was a one-point game after SU hit a three on the next possession. An open three by Weber was key for the Aggies. It started the momentum for the Aggies as Williamson hit a three and drew a foul shortly after.
With a 54-49 lead, Seattle hit three buckets quickly and took over the lead. Mack became the third Aggie to score in double figures on the night, taking the lead back from SU at the line. The teams exchanged the lead, but a steal from freshman Tyler Ellis paved the way for sophomore Abby Scott to hit a three from the right side.
With a 61-59 advantage Williamson hit a hot streak with two jumpers and a long three for a 70-64 lead after Seattle sank a three and layup on its half of the court. SU was able to get back within three, but NM State stayed ahead with Williamson’s free-throw poise.
Holding the lead into the final three minutes, a huge pass by Scott after a rebound by the Aggies gave them a 79-72 lead with just two minutes to play. SU hit a layup inside the paint, but then quickly fouled and sent Scott to the line. Off a missed free shot, Scott picked up her own rebound, which led to Williamson notching the 30-point mark for the fourth time this season from the line.
SU hit a pair from the line in the final minute, but Williamson answered back with two of her own. Seattle sank a deep three to make it 83-79. The Redhawks sank a layup to get within four, but the game ended on a free shot by NM State for the 86-81 win.
The Aggies head out on the road to meet Chicago State and Kansas City, Feb. 13 and 15. First meeting Kansas City on Thursday, Feb. 13, the Aggies look to sweep the conference series against the Roos at 6 p.m. NM State then travels to Chicago State to meet the Cougars at 1 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on KSNM AM570 with Jay Sanderson making the call.
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