NMSU Women's Basketball Downs Grand Canyon For Third Straight Win

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women’s basketball team won its third game in a row taking down Western Athletic Conference foe Grand Canyon, 64-60. Ahead by just one NM State’s Brooke Salas drove the lane and knocked down a crucial jumper to put the Aggies up 61-58, which proved to be an insurmountable lead for the Lopes.

Following the victory head coach Brooke Atkinson said, “We took a big step toughness wise and in our maturity tonight. I am seeing more and more leadership with this group and they are buying in defensively. I liked to see that energy and effort is what this team can control and they did a great job of that in this game.”

After Jasmine Cooper won the opening tip for NM State (8-8, 2-0 WAC), the Aggies recorded the first two baskets of the game to put Grand Canyon (7-9, 1-1 WAC) down early. The Lopes responded and began to answer which knotted the game up at 10 come the first timeout with 2:47 remaining in the opening quarter.

Following the stoppage the Aggies came out flying and used an 8-2 run to end the first quarter ahead 18-12.

Grand Canyon closed in throughout the second with a solid early run to close within one, 27-26 at the 3:52 mark. Following a media timeout the teams traded baskets to close out the first half with NM State still ahead just one, 31-30.

Through 20 minutes of action, Brooke Salas led the Aggies with 10 points, followed by Jasmine Cooper with eight and Gia Pack with six. At the end of the first half NM State dominated in the paint outscoring GCU 16-4.

Coming out of the locker room the Aggies looked to expand their lead after a three-pointer from Tonishia Childress opened up the third. Grand Canyon was able to keep it close with 13 trips to the line midway through the third quarter in contrast to zero for NM State.

Following a basket and-one brought the Lopes within two points August Touchard then knocked down a three-pointer to give GCU its first lead of the game 41-40. After a timeout, NM State was able to catch its breath and retake the lead that stood at 48-46 heading into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter featured stifling defense from the Aggies who looked to contest each shot to keep the Lopes behind. A jumper from the Lopes Brie Mobley with 49 seconds left got GCU within one at 59-58.

Then a jumper from Salas, followed by three good free throw shots saw NM State walk away with a 64-60 win over Grand Canyon.

Salas led the Aggies with 16 points, followed by a double-double from Pack who put up 11 points with 12 rebounds and Cooper added 11 points of her own. Strong play in the backcourt saw NM State force 13 turnovers and outscore the GCU 16-5 off these chances.

New Mexico State remains at the Pan Am when the team plays host to WAC foe CSU Bakersfield on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 2 p.m. MT.