UNM catches fire from deep, topples NM State in early season showdown


After three straight close games to start the 10`9-2020 season, the Aggies struggle to keep up with New Mexico.

The rough start continues for the New Mexico State women’s basketball team in Sunday’s 86-67 loss to in-state-rival UNM at the Pan American Center dropping the Aggies to 1-3 on the season.

NM State held their lone lead early in the first quarter, but the Lobos completely took charge of the second, holding the Aggies to a mere six points while going on a 12-2 scoring run to close the half with a 40-25 lead.

“You can’t have a six point quarter, and if you have a six point quarter, the other team needs to have a six or eight point quarter,” head coach Brooke Atkinson said. “We’re not always going to be able to rely on our offense, shots aren’t always going to fall, but we can always defend.”

Both sides of the court had a hard time taking care of the ball, with the Aggies turning it over 16 times in the first half alone, and five times in the second and the Lobos struggling to handle the ball, giving it up 20.

“If you switch the one and the two, then I’d be happy. Our goal is 12 turnovers a game — you have to value the basketball,” Atkinson said. “It’s stuff that we work on the first 30 minutes of practice every day.”

UNM patrolled the paint, blocking four NM State shots and hauling in 45 rebounds, can were rolling on offense, turning in 17 assists on 31 made field goals.

Roswell native Jaedyn De La Cerda native dropped a game-high 26 points and eight assists lead UNM in their dominant early season rivalry win, with Ahlise Hurst adding 22 points off of seven threes and two steals.

“We knew coming in that Hurst could really shoot it, De La Cerda obviously is usually a little streaker but she always has good games against us. New Mexico kid, she gets the rivalry.” Atkinson said.

NM State’s duo of Gia Pack and Aaliyah Prince found themselves in foul trouble in the first half, but found rhythm throughout the last 20 minutes, combining for 35 points and 12 rebounds.

“We have to guard better, so we’re not put in positions like that so we can have kids on the floor that give us good minutes. We have to have those kids on the floor,” Atkinson said. “You’ve got to have a hand on the ball. It’s basic, simple things that can turn into three, six, nine, twelve.”

The Aggies continue to struggle creating on the offensive end of the floor outside of their two top scorers, with Amanda Soderqvist being the only other NM State player to take double-digit shots (on her way to 14 points).

NM State will look to pick up their first home win at the Pan American Center when they take on Pepperdine this Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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