Aggie women right the ship against Utah Valley

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Aggie women right the ship against Utah Valley

NMSU ends their losing streak at two with a critical win over Utah Valley.

NMSU ends their losing streak at two with a critical win over Utah Valley.

Cassidy Kuester

NMSU ends their losing streak at two with a critical win over Utah Valley.

Cassidy Kuester

Cassidy Kuester

NMSU ends their losing streak at two with a critical win over Utah Valley.

After reaching a low point in last weekend’s defeat against Grand Canyon, the New Mexico State women’s basketball team bounce back with a huge 59-51 win over Utah Valley.

The Aggies were able to hold off the Wolverines in a back-and-forth tilt where neither team could feel safe with a lead. UVU looked like they would take over in the second quarter after they put together a 13-4 run at the end of the half, but NMSU recaptured the lead and control of the game with their own 16-2 run in the third.

All seven NMSU players that entered the game scored, but Brooke Salas and Gia Pack were by far the players of the game, with the duo going off for 43 of the team’s 59 points (25 and 18 respectively). Salas was the one to turn the game back into the Aggies’ after she scored nine quick points in the third quarter that kicked off that crucial run, and Pack finished it with a steal off an inbounds pass that would effectively seal the game for NMSU.

“We just have to have the competitive mentality through the game,” Pack said when asked about her and Salas carrying the offensive load for the Aggies. “We can score in many different ways and play the one-through-four — both of us are unguardable.”

NMSU stays near the top of the conference with the WAC tournament only three weeks away, and a strong finish to the season could put them in a prime position to go for their fourth straight conference championship.

“This was a very huge win for us, just with us getting back on track losing those two games,” Pack said. “We came back prepared. In practice we worked on us, and when we get going and work together, we win.”

Regaining that championship caliber confidence Pack exuded in the post-game presser and the team exuded on the court was key for NMSU as they enter the homestretch of the season.

NMSU (13-11, 7-3 WAC) returned home after a difficult road stretch that included the first back-to-back losses the team had suffered since the 2014 season and a deflating loss to GCU where the Aggies only scored 34 points for the entire game, so getting back in the win column is major.

“Confidence is contagious. When we share the ball, it’s contagious. When we defend, it’s contagious and that showed tonight,” head coach Brooke Atkinson said. “It’s just one game at a time — that’s how we’re looking at it, but our destiny is in our hands.”

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