Ag women still unbeaten in WAC play
As far as games of King – or rather Queen – of the Hill are concerned, this one has been a wash.
So far no one in the Western Athletics Conference has been able to knock the New Mexico State University’s women’s basketball team from its perch. The defending WAC champions improved to 6-0 in the league with an 86-63 victory against Cal-State Fullerton Saturday, Jan. 23 in front of a record- breaking home crowd of 5,034 fans at the Pan American Center.
The Aggies are now 17-3 on the season and are in the midst of an eight-game winning streak. They return to action Saturday, Jan. 30 at a UT Rio Grande Valley squad that is itself 5-0 in WAC play. The Aggies and Vaqueros are slated to tip-off at 6 p.m. (MT) in Edinburg, Texas.
Against Bakersfield, the Aggie defense came up big, forcing 17 turnovers and converted them for 26 points. The defense also forced Bakersfield into four, 10-second violations, the most NM State has forced all season.
NM State put the game away early in the fourth quarter, putting up seven- straight points to go up by 71-53 on a jumper by Brooke Salas. The freshman was one of four Aggies in double-figures with a final line of 12 points, four board, four assists and two blocks.
Salas, who has started all 20 games this season for the Aggies, was named College Sports Madness Player of the Week after averaging 16 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5 assists to go with a .560 clip from the floor and .400 clip from 3-point range in NMSU’s past two games.
Salas tore it up from the floor for the Aggies against Seattle University Thursday, Jan. 21. The 5-10 guard went 6-for-7 in the first half for 14 points en route to NM State’s 69-54 victory over the Redhawks. Salas was on the verge of recording a triple-double, but settled for a season-high 20 points on seven boards to go with six assists and a steal.
Two days later, the Placentia, California product notched eight of her 12 points in the fourth quarter to help NM State pull away from the Roadrunners.
Salas is averaging 9.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and leads the team in freethrow percentage (83.3).
Also against Bakersfield, Brianna Freeman was three rebounds shy of getting her 14th-career double-double and fifth of the season, finishing with 11 points, seven boards and one block.
The Aggies were deadly from the field all afternoon, especially from 3-point range. NM State connected on 13-of-27 shots downtown as a team (.481). The Aggies shot .484 from the field (30-62), their second-best shooting performance this season.