By: Joseph Fullbright
As students return from winter break, the New Mexico State women’s basketball team looks to keep up their winning ways. The Aggies enter the spring semester currently on a five-game winning streak.
The streak began back on December 31, with an 85-28 victory over Western New Mexico. Freshman Gia Pack led the way with 22 points and three steals. Joining Pack in double-digits was senior Moriah Mack, who added 15 points.
The Aggies opened up WAC play edging UMKC 78-72 on January 5. Moriah Mack led the team with 20 points, sophomore Brooke Salas (17 points, 7 rebounds) and Gia Pack (16 points, 8 rebounds) each nearly had double-doubles. The win put the Aggies at 9-6 on the season, but most importantly got their first conference victory out of the way.
Following the WAC-opening win, the Aggies defeated a winless Chicago State team 100-63 to close out the homestand. Six Aggies finished the game in double-figure scoring, led by seniors Tamara William (20 points), Tyler Ellis (15 points), and Brianna Freeman (12 points). As a team, they shot 63.9% from the field- a very good percentage.
Road conference games can usually be tough, but being led by a strong group of seniors, the Aggies didn’t skip a beat as the defeated Grand Canyon 81-65 on January 12 in Phoenix. Brooke Salas had a very good game with 23 points and five rebounds, Moriah Mack had 18 points and five steals, and Tamera William had 17 points and five steals as well. The two teams entered the final quarter of play in a contested contest, with NMSU up 62-55, before they pulled away at the end. The win pushed the winning streak to four games.
The Aggies closed out the five-game winning streak with a 64-55 victory in a defensive battle with CSU Bakersfield. Moriah Mack continued her great play with 14 points, five rebounds, and three steals, while Gia Pack, slowly turning into the valuable player coach Mark Trakh anticipated her being coming into her freshman season, had 14 points and nine rebounds.
Thanks to winning five games in a row, the Aggies improved to 12-6 on the year and are a perfect 4-0 in WAC play. They were led by senior Moriah Mack, who averaged 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and two steals in the five games. She was recently named the College Sports Madness WAC Player of the Week for the week of January 9-15.
The Aggies return home this weekend playing their best basketball of the season. They take on second-place Seattle on Thursday at 7:00, then Utah Valley on Saturday at 2:00. Both games will be played at the Pan American Center.