This is the first time the Aggies have started WAC play 3-0 since 2008. The longest winning streak at any point in WAC play for NM State is four, a streak that began at the end of the 2007 season and extended through those first three games in 2008. The Aggies will try to tie and break that streak during two conference road games next week.
NM State was outshot by Seattle, 45.8 percent (22-48) to 39.1 percent (25-64), but in what has been the calling card for the Aggies this season, they took the game by playing tough defense and hitting the offensive boards hard for second chance points. NM State once again forced over 20 turnovers – Seattle finished with 22 – and had 18 second-chance points to the Redhawks’ seven after pulling down 15 offensive rebounds.
“I thought we rebounded well, but we still need to improve and be more consistent,” Trakh said. “I was proud of how we rebounded on the offensive side. Defense played well, we forced them to turn the ball over and we limited our mistakes and it showed.”
For the second time this season the Aggies had five players finish in double-figure scoring. The feat was also accomplished in November in a double-overtime loss to Weber State.
Sasha Weber led the way with 15 points. Fellow junior Abby Scott was right behind with 14 points while Brianna Freeman, Shanice Davis and Moriah Mack contributed with 13 points apiece.
Mack fell one rebound short of marking her second-straight double-double after finishing with a game-high nine boards. Davis was also close to inking her first double-double as an Aggie after finishing with a career-high eight assists.
After the Redhawks marked the first two points of the game, the teams would trade early six-point runs, and after a Mack bucket the game was knotted up at 10-10 with 12:44 left in the first half.
Mack’s basket, however, would be the last for the Aggies over the next four minutes as Seattle embarked on an 8-0 run to take an 18-10 lead, its biggest of the entire game.
As on Thursday, NM State struggled from beyond the arc early, missing its first eight 3-pointers. Scott would end the 3-point and Redhawk streak after nailing a 3-pointer with 8:15 left in the opening frame to close the gap to 18-13.
Seattle would keep the lead at bay, however, as it seemed the visitors had an answer for every Aggie bucket. A Mack 3-pointer finally closed the gap a little as NM State trailed 22-18 with just under seven minutes left in the half.
Late in the half the Aggies would get even closer as the Redhawk lead was trimmed to one, first by a Freeman shot in the lane with two minutes left and then again with 5.6 second left in the half after a Scott jumper. It seemed NM State would trail by a single point heading to the locker room, but Seattle guard Claire Metoyer made it four after sinking a shot at the buzzer from just in front of half court to extend the Redhawk lead to 35-31 at the half.
With Seattle leading 39-33 early in the final frame, the Aggies finally got their first lead since early in the game after five-straight points by Davis sparked an 8-0 run that was capped off with a Weber three that gave NM State a 41-39 lead with 16:40 remaining.
The Aggies would extend the lead to as many as six points, but the Redhawks regained the lead at 52-51 after six-straight points heading into the under-eight media timeout.
NM State, however, as they have all season, responded right out of the timeout. The response? A 13-2 run that gave the home team a double-digit lead at 64-54 with under five minutes to play. In between the under-eight media timeout and the under-four timeout, the Aggies outscored Seattle 18-6 to pull away for their sixth-straight victory as the NM State lead would not be threatened the rest of the way.
NM State now leaves the friendly confines of the Pan American Center and hits the road for three-straight WAC matchups beginning with the two games next week. The Aggies play Grand Canyon in Phoenix, Ariz., on Thursday, Jan. 22, before meeting up with Utah Valley on Saturday, Jan. 24.
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