SEATTLE — The New Mexico State women's basketball team trailed for much of the first three quarters at the Redhawk Center Saturday afternoon before outscoring Seattle 29-12 in the fourth for an 83-72 win, its 10th in a row.
Seattle U (1-23, 1-10) started the scoring with a three just 18 seconds into the contest. Monique Mills then responded with a three of her own to tie it up before Gia Pack bullied her way to the basket to give the Aggies (19-6, 11-1) a 5-3 lead. The two sides traded baskets with the Redhawks leading 11-10 at the media timeout midway through the quarter. The two sides continued to go back-and-forth with NM State taking a 16-15 lead after one.
After making three three-pointers in the first quarter, Seattle stayed hot from behind the arc in the second. The Redhawks hit four shots from deep in the first five minutes of the quarter and led 33-24 at the media timeout with 3:58 until the half. Seattle U then extended its lead to double-digits at 35-24 at the 3:34 mark. However, New Mexico State continued to compete, with Pack scoring seven points in the half's final 3:30 to trim the deficit to 41-34 at the half. Seattle U shot 8-12 from three in the first half while Pack scored 12 first-half points.
Coming out of the half, the Aggies still could not stop Seattle U from three as it was able to extend its lead over NM State to 54-45 with 3:11 in the quarter. Salas then scored seven of New Mexico State's final nine points of the quarter to cut the deficit to six at 60-54 going into the fourth. Salas scored 13 points in the third quarter.
Staring down just its second conference loss, NM State found another gear to start the fourth quarter. The Aggies offense and defense both clocked as they ripped of a 17-0 run to begin the final quarter and take a 71-60 lead with 5:11 to play. Seattle U didn't score its first points of the fourth until the five minutes remained. However, the Redhawks continued to battle and pulled within 71-67 after a 7-0 run of its own.
With the Aggies leading 75-69 with under two minutes left, Stabresa McDaniel knocked down a dagger three to push the lead to nine at 78-69 with 1:25 in the fourth. From there, NM State knocked down six-of-seven free throws down the stretch for the final score of 83-72. Salas, Pack and McDaniel combined to score 25 of NM State's 29 fourth-quarter points.
Salas led the way for New Mexico State with her 17th double-double of the season, and fifth-straight, recording 27 points and 10 boards in the win. Pack scored 23 points with eight rebounds for her second-consecutive 20-point game while McDaniel added 14 points off the bench.
As a team, the Aggies shot 27-55 (.491) from the field while 24-32 from the line. NM State turned the Redhakws over 16 times while outrebounding them 38-35. New Mexico State dominated in transition, outscoring Seattle U 17-2 while also outscoring Seattle 36-22 in the paint.
New Mexico State stays on the road when it takes on UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. (MT). That game will be streamed live on the WAC Digital Network.