NM State (4-7, 0-0 WAC) vs. Northern NM (3-12, 0-0 CAC)
Tuesday, December 20, 2022 | Noon MT | Pan American Center
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NM State (4-7, 0-0 WAC) returns to Las Cruces following a big road win at Portland State this past weekend. Tuesday will be just the fourth game played at home for the Aggies this season, and the second in the last week. The Aggies are 2-1 in the Pan Am this year defeating NM Highlands (Nov. 9) and New Mexico (Nov. 15).
Northern NM has dropped their last two contests to Eastern NM (83-48) and West Texas A&M (100-58). The Eagles are 3-12 on the season with wins at Lincoln University (56-42) and two wins at SAGU American Indian (80-34)(66-51).
Last Time Out
The Aggies pulled off a big road win at Portland State this past Saturday taking down the Vikings 55-53 in their newly renovated $52.1 million arena.
The Aggies defense was stout in the victory holding the Vikings offense to a measly 36.8% shooting clip, allowing just two makes from three, while forcing 19 turnovers.
Soufia Inossa was the Aggies leading scorer with 11 points on 4-12 shooting. With the absence of Sylena Peterson, Taylor Donaldson was relied on as the Aggies primary facilitator and rose to the challenge with a career high seven assists. She also recorded five of the Aggies 14 steals setting another career mark for the third-year guard.
Nail Biting Finishes
The last nine contests for the Aggies have all been decided by single digits with six of those games being within two possessions or less. NM State is being outscored 557-540 during that stretch with an overall record of 3-6. Two of those wins came on the road against the likes of San Diego (57-52) and Portland State (55-53) – the other was a 73-64 overtime victory over I-25 rival New Mexico back in November at the Pan Am in Las Cruces.
The veteran guard pair of Molly Kaiser (10.9 ppg) and Sylena Peterson (10.6 ppg) lead the Aggies in scoring this season. Kaiser had scored double figures in over half of the Aggies games this season and is averaging 12.8 ppg over her last six contests.
Peterson has missed the last two games with an undiagnosed illness. She was averaging 17.0 ppg over her last three games before going down, including a 22 point, 13 rebound outing in her hometown of San Diego against Idaho in the USD Winter Classic (Dec. 4).
NM State is allowing just 61.9 points a game to their opponents this season, which is the third lowest amongst WAC schools thus far. Only two teams have scored 70+ points on the Aggies this season: Colorado (85) and Yale (73).
The team also carries the fourth highest turnover margin in the WAC (+2.55) forcing 18.91 turnovers a contest.
Shania Harper and Ene Adams have combined for 29 rebounds over their last two games coming off the bench. Harper snagged a season high 10 rebounds in the loss to UTEP (Dec. 13). Adams secured seven in the win at Portland State Saturday.
NM State will have a week off before hitting the road again on Dec. 29 to face off against UTRGV for the start of conference play. They will return home two days later Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve) for another conference test against Southern Utah.
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