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With a 63-62 lead over Utah State in the final two seconds on the court, the Aggies were knocked off 65-63 with a buzzer-beating three point shot from USU on the far left side on Thursday evening at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. NM State slips to 9-8 on the season and 3-4 in Western Athletic Conference play.
With the last second loss, NM State still managed to shoot 42.1 percent from the floor with senior Stefanie Gilbreath collecting a season-high 25 points on the night. She was just one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards. Junior Jasmine Rutledge also picked up nine rebounds in the game.
"That was such a tough loss for this team," head coach Mark Trakh said of the night. "It does make a difference playing without Kelsie (Rozendaal), but we have to have more than one player in the double figures. All we can do is bounce back and get ready to get a win in San Jose on Saturday."
Starting the game with a big three from Weber, the Aggies took a 15-7 lead early in the game before allowing the USU Aggies to put four more points on the board. NM State came back to extend the lead by nine points, leading USU without a bucket for close to four minutes.
Senior Camila Rosen kept the Aggie momentum high with her first three of the season and two baskets from inside the paint to give the Aggies gave the Aggie their largest lead of the half with a 29-18 with 5:33 on the clock.
The lead quickly disappeared as Utah State went on a 14 point run before Abby Scott collected a deep three pointer from the right corner to knot the game at 32 apiece going into halftime.
Gilbreath picked up 12 of her points in the first period and senior Malia Magazzeni led the Aggies with four defensive rebounds. Marking the first time all season that NM State has been tied at halftime, the Aggies outshot their name-sharing counterpart with 42.3 percent from the floor, while USU worked for just 37.5 percent at the half.
With the second half underway, the Aggies broke the tie with a layup from Rosen, but USU came back with four points to take the lead. NM State did not let that lead last long as the team went on an 11 point run.
Utah State answered back with a pair of free throws, but NM State maintained the lead on a jumper from Gilbreath and a shot from underneath the basket from Rutledge to put NM State up 51-47. Freshman Shay Young sank a couple of free throws, her first of WAC play, to push the Aggies ahead even more.
Utah State went on a 9-0 run with four free throws before NM State Rutledge picked up two points from inside the paint. The two teams exchanged buckets, switching the lead with each make until Weber make her shot from under the basket to give the Aggies a 63-30 lead with 1:04 to play.
Gilbreath went to the line for 1-and-1 but missed the free basket, giving the USU Aggies the rebound and Makenlee Williams sank a three from the left side for a buzzer-beating win over NM State.
The Aggies continue on the road as they face San Jose State on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. in San Jose, Calif.
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