New Mexico State offense struggles without Pack in loss to UMKC

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Anthon

Aaliyah Prince scores a game-high 17 points in NM State's loss to the Roos.

Women’s basketball made an unceremonious return to the Pan American Center Saturday afternoon as UMKC proved why they are atop the WAC standings, shutting down New Mexico State 55-50, drop them to 8-15 overall, and a .500 record in conference.

With senior superstar Gia Pack out with a leg injury, the Aggie offense had a difficult time manufacturing anything, shooting just 32% from the field. NM State stayed in the game thanks to stout defense of their own — holding UMKC to 39% shooting — and a dominant showing on the backboard, out rebounding the Roos 46 to 31, but the lack of firepower would prove to be too much to overcome down the stretch.

The score stayed tight throughout the majority of the game, with NM State trailing for a majority but hanging around within striking distance thanks to back-and-forth runs by both the Aggies and the Roos. At one point in the second NM State had a 9-2 comeback run, which resulted in tying it up. That run was answered shortly after, when the Roos went three for three on jumpers to close off the first half.   

UMKC pushed the lead to double digits in the latter half of the fourth quarter, giving them enough cushion to hold off several later buckets by the Aggies to make things uncomfortable for the visitors.

The Aggie offense made up for all the misses by collecting 21 offensive rebounds compared to a Kansas City seven. Tayelin Grays led the charge, hauling in nine of those rebounds in addition to 12 points, but it would be to no avail.

Turnovers were even for both squads at 11, a number head coach Brooke Atkinson has mentioned she is happy about in the past.

Aaliyah Prince put up 17 points as the primary option, solidifying herself as a legit threat with the ball even without the draw of a Gia Pack to open the court up, but beyond Grays and Prince, no other Aggie was able to add more than six points.

WAC ball continues Thursday in the Pacific Northwest when the Aggies travel to Seattle University to face off against the 9-12 (3-5 conference) Redhawks. NM State will look to keep their head above .500 waters before heading into the final five games of the regular season.

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