Aggies sink late three-pointer, beat UTEP in overtime

EL PASO, Texas – The New Mexico State women’s basketball team won an overtime thriller 80-75 at rival UTEP inside the Don Haskins Center on Wednesday night.

Junior guard Erica Sanchez nailed a three with 10 seconds remaining to knot the score at 70-70 and cap off a 12-5 Aggie run to close regulation. UTEP’s final attempt rimmed off the back of the basket.

In overtime, sophomore guard Camila Rosen and junior forward Tabytha Wampler combined for all 10 of NM State’s points in the extra session. Rosen’s jumper with 1:16 remaining in overtime gave the Aggies a 76-75 lead. The Berkeley, Calif., native added two from the line on a one-and-one situation with 17 ticks left. Wampler’s two makes at the charity stripe sealed the win with four seconds left in overtime.

“I am really proud of our team tonight, coming away with this win,” said head coach Darin Spence. “We had several players step up late and carry us to our second win on the road. Now we need to go back to Las Cruces and take care of business on Saturday afternoon against Houston.”

NM State improves to 2-1 on the season with the Sonic I-10 Rivalry win while UTEP drops to 1-1. The win marked the fourth straight over UTEP in the rivalry which the Aggies lead all-time 46-29.

The game was meant for overtime based on the even final stats. NM State shot 42 percent from the field while UTEP chimed in at 40 percent. Each team had multiple players in double figures, the Aggies with three and Miners with four. The rebounds were even at 42 apiece. The Aggies edged UTEP in assists 15-14. The contest had nine ties and 15 lead changes in a back-and-forth battle.

Senior guards Madison Spence and Jasmine Lowe led the Aggies with 18 points each. Wampler added 14 on six-of-seven from the floor and led the all players with nine boards in the game. Lowe and Spence each played marathon minutes with 42 and 38, respectively.

UTEP opened the game the game on a 6-0 run with baskets from three different players – its biggest lead of the half. Wampler got the Aggie offense started at the 17:52 mark with a jumper from the lane. After Miner guard Dietra Caldwell scored, NM State went on an 8-0 run, highlighted by a three-pointer from Sanchez.

The Aggies and Miners both struggled on offense in the middle of the first half each scoring a lone bucket from the 12-minute mark until 9:00 showed on the clock. Neither team scored from the field over the next four minutes until a UTEP bucket from Sviatlana Trukshanina.

That Miner score was part of a 6-0 UTEP run to pull back ahead at 18-12. NM State countered with a 9-2 run over the next 90 seconds to take a brief 21-20 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the first stanza.

UTEP answered with another 6-0 run over the next 1:40 to move ahead 26-21 but Spence nailed a three from the right corner just before the buzzer to make it 26-24 Miners at halftime.

Both teams were sloppy with the ball in the opening half with 14 turnovers each. UTEP led 10-5 in points off turnovers at the half. The Aggie defense managed nine steals including three swipes by Spence. UTEP shot 40 percent from the floor but missed all six of their attempts from beyond the arc while the Aggies shot 31 percent overall and made three of seven treys. Neither team led by more than six in a hard-fought first half.

NM State kicked off the second half with a 6-0 streak, part of a larger 9-0 run, to take its largest lead of the half of four at 30-26. But an intentional foul by Sanchez on a UTEP layup sparked an 8-0 Miner run to take the lead at 34-30 with less than 16 minutes remaining.

The Aggies battled back with another 6-0 run, capped off by a Lowe trey, to take back the lead at 36-34. UTEP post player Gloria Brown became an offensive scoring machine over the next several minutes, posting 10 of the Miners’14 points to give UTEP a 48-42 lead with just over nine minutes remaining.

A three from the top left corner by senior guard Danisha Corbett stopped a 12-3 Miner rally to make it 50-45 UTEP at the 8:12 mark. A three-pointer and a traditional three-point play by Spence cut the Miner lead to 53-51 with 6:34 left in the game.

The home team put together an 8-0 run to build its largest lead of the game at 59-51. A four-point play by Spence cut the UTEP lead to four at 62-58 with 3:29 left. The Miners responded with four straight but the Aggies ended regulation on a 12-5 run to knot the game at 70-all.

The Miners’ Gloria Brown led all scorers with 20 points while Anete Steinberga led UTEP on the boards with eight.

NM State returns to Las Cruces this Saturday, Nov. 20 for its home opener against Houston, tip-off time is slated for 5 p.m. MT.