Spence’s 29 not enough as NMSU women fall to Louisiana Tech

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico State senior guard Madison Spence had a season-high 29 points, including 23 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough Saturday night as the Aggies women’s basketball team fell 88-79 loss to league leader Louisiana Tech.

The senior captain went 11 of 21 from the floor, including 4 for 7 from behind the arc. Spence also was a perfect 3 for 3 from the foul line and scored more than half (23) of the Aggies’ 42 points in the second half.

Senior backcourt mate Jasmine Lowe added 18 points, 16 of which came before halftime. Classmate Danisha Corbett poured in 12 points and junior forward Tabytha Wampler scored 11 to go with nine rebounds, one board shy of a double double. Freshman guard Jasmine Rutledge was held scoreless but had 13 rebounds.

After Lousiana Tech had maintained a comfortable lead for most of the first half, NMSU stormed back late to take a one-point advantage into the locker rooms at 37-36. The Lady Techsters opened the second half with a 12-5 run to go up 48-42, and after they extended the advantage to 13 points — the largest of the night — the Aggies rallied behind Spence to claw back to within four at 77-73 with 55 seconds left.

Louisiana Tech secured the game at the free-throw line and finished with a huge advantage for the game, making 31 of 37 attempts while NMSU attempted only 16 foul shots, making 13.

The Aggies shot 40 percent from the floor and from behind the arc. Louisiana Tech finished at 43 percent from the field and 46 percent from long range. The Aggies outrebounded the Lady Techsters 44-38.

With the loss, NMSU dropped to 10-13 overall and 4-5 in the Western Athletic Conference play, while Louisiana Tech remained unbeaten in conference play at 10-0 and improved to 18-5 overall.

Senior forward Adrienne Johnson led four Lady Techsters in double figures by posting a double double with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Senior Tarkeisha Wysinger-Mackey also posted a double double with 23 points and 10 boards.

“We had a great crowd tonight, and we responded to compete hard,” said NMSU head coach Darin Spence. “I thought Jasmine Rutledge did a good job against Johnson tonight, but Wysinger-Mackey has made us pay both games this year. We don’t have a good matchup for her.

“We need to take care of these next two games against Hawai’i and San Jose State at home next week and I think we’ll be alright.”