Aggies make easy work of Chicago State on senior day


Mitchell Allred

Brooke Salas helps NM State crush Chicago State 77-54, finishing her illustrious career at the Pan Am as the Aggies celebrated senior day.

After having secured the WAC regular-season title on Thursday, some might have wondered if New Mexico State would put things in cruise control until the conference tournament, but nothing could be further from that case as head coach Brooke Atkinson’s team comfortably handled Chicago State 77-54 in the Aggies’ home finale and senior day.

“It’s still a one game season,” Atkinson said about how her team is handling these remaining regular season games. “You want to be playing your best basketball going into the tournament.”

Seniors Brooke Salas, Baylee Robinson, Dominique Mills, Monique Mills and (graduate) Stabresa McDaniel all made their final appearance inside the Pan American Center Saturday afternoon.

Salas will finish her career at the program as NM State’s all-time second leading scorer (currently sitting at 1,839 points) — only trailing NM State legend Anita Maxwell (who is well in front with 2,601) — but has transcended her scoring ability with historic all-around contribution, ranking sixth in career rebounds at NM State with 901, appearing in 121 games and starting 120 of them, setting the school record in career blocks with 149 and becoming the second Aggie in history to record a triple-double in a game when she put up 33 points, 22 rebounds and 11 blocks against Alcorn State back in December.

The game itself was controlled by NM State early, with the Aggies doing their best Golden State Warriors impression in the second quarter on their way to a lead that ballooned up to 22 points while holding CSU to just six for the entire period.

Atkinson’s team looked in tip-top shape as 12 Aggies had the opportunity to check into game with the NM State bench scoring 36 points. McDaniel led the way for her team clocking in 20 points (a near-perfect 9-of-10 shooting performance), with quality supporting performances from Salas, who had 16 points and eight rebounds, and Pack, who recorded her own double-double and was also an assist away from joining the triple-double club (16 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists).

NM State was able to show off its hard-earned bling post-game as the team cut down the nets in honor of their championship season, as well hoisting its WAC trophy in the air in front of the proud Aggie Faithful.

“Aggie fans are the best fans that’s for sure, we love you guys,” Atkinson said as she spoke out to crowd in attendance. “Thank you for giving these young women this experience – we go to gyms all over the country and they’re not anything like you Aggie fans, so we love you guys. Thank you.”

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