NM State take Trailblazers in nail-biting triple overtime battle

Juliana Trujillo

More stories from Juliana Trujillo

After a fire alarm and three overtimes, the New Mexico State women’s basketball team, (9-12, 5-6) extended their home game win streak to six after a tough battle against the Dixie State Trailblazers (7-15, 3-8) 84-82. The contest included 17 lead changes and 10 ties. Most of the Aggies points came from sophomore guard Taylor Donaldson who earned her season high with 19 points and seven rebounds. 

The first quarter opened up with a three from Dixie State’s Macie Warren with a quick answer from the Aggies own Mel Isbell. The teams continued to go back and forth and would score on the next five possessions. For NM State, most of these points came from the ever reliable top scorer Bigue Sarr, with 11 total points. The largest lead came when sophomore guard Tayelin Grays shot a 5-0 solo that put the Aggies up 14-10. Despite NMSUs offensive strength the quarter ended with the Trailblazers up a meager 18-17. 

The three-point contest swiftly became a theme as Donaldson, Isbell and Kaiser all knocked down threes at the beginning of the second quarter. The 13-0 run put the Aggies up a taunting 31-18. The Trailblazers then started finding their own niche at the arc and outscored NM State 14-5. Going into the second half the Aggie offensive continued in their tenacity with Freshman guard Soufia Inoussa starting it off with a solid jumper. To counter, the Trailblazers went on a 9-2 and retook the lead 41-40. With a much needed response by Isbell with a jumper in the paint, the Aggies regained the slight lead 42-41. Combining their talents, Deja Terrell and Donaldson worked together for a 8-2 run with only two minutes left in the third. 

The fourth quarter began with a surprise fire alarm evacuation due to a leak in the steam room delaying the game for about 15 minutes. Coming off the long break, Terrell wasted no time putting the Aggies on the board with a reliable layup. Dixie State then found some momentum and used a three-pointer to go on a run and earn their biggest lead of the contest, 60-54. With clutch baskets from Kaiser and Donaldson, NM State forced overtime tying it up  61-61.

Emma Hood

Donaldson earned the first points after over two minutes of solid defense play by both teams. The Aggie’s own Adrianna Henderson earned her first points with a drive down the middle of the court keeping the theme of a tight game with Dixie up 66-65. With a basket from Inoussa and a comeback from the Trailblazers, the teams headed into double overtime, 68-68. 

Dixie State was on the board first, then Inoussa shot another triple, she would go on to finish with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Once again they tied, 75-75, at the end of 50 minutes. The third overtime started with three good free throws from Sarr. With about four minutes left,​ the Trailblazers started to rival the Aggies only falling behind 78-77. After 31 three-pointers throughout the game, Crimson sophomore Tayelin Grays late three from the left side of the court made all the difference, regaining the lead 81-77. The long contest finally finished with the Aggies ahead, due in large part to the Aggies’ 49 rebounds compared to Dixie State’s 39.

“As a coach, you worry about it, but I thought our kids handled it very maturely,” Head coach Brooke Atkinson explained. “We battled back, but I was proud of them.” She continued by discussing their defensive ability. “That was the number one key against them was to guard the 3-point line,” Atkinson said. “They are a great motion-offensive team. I thought they hit some big shots in the first half. We settled down and chased and made them score.”

The Aggies will remain at home and will host the Utah Valley Wolverines (10-12, 5-6), today at 12 p.m. 



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