“I’m happy for Taelor that she got a double-double and passed 1000 career points and I think she has even better games yet to come,” said head coach Joan Bonvicini. “I liked the fight in the second half, but it needs to be for the entire game. The thing that hurt us was that we had a bad first quarter and it put us in a hole. From the second quarter on, we played a lot better, but we weren’t aggressive enough early. New Mexico State is a great team and they shot extraordinarily well.”
NM State jumped out to a 14-point lead, 18-4, in the first five and a half minutes of play and would lead by 17 by the end of the first quarter. Seattle U cut their deficit to as few as 11, 34-23, in the first half on a Tal Sahar (Tarzana, Calif.) three-pointer at 1:37, but trailed by 15, 38-23, at half.
Brooke Salas opened the second half with back-to-back buckets for NM State and a Sasha Weber three-pointer at 6:06 gave the Aggies a 20-point lead, 47-27. SU trailed by as few as 14, 54-40, in the third quarter before Salas hit a pair of free throws to put NMSU up by 16, 56-40, heading into the final 10 minutes.
Tyesha Taylor hit a jumper with eight minutes remaining to put the Aggies back up by 18, 58-40, before a 14-3 Redhawk run to trail by just seven, 61-54. Taylor and Ross traded baskets with just over a minute to go to cut the Redhawk deficit to seven once again but NM State closed the game going 3-for-4 from the line to win by 10.
Ross led Seattle U with a career-high 23 points and season-high-tying 10 rebounds as she surpassed the 1000 career points mark. SU also out-rebounded NM State, 32-31, also leading in steals, 10-8.
The Redhawks finish their regular season road schedule at Utah Valley on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. PT before returning home for Senior Day on Saturday, Mar. 5 at 2 p.m. vs. CSU Bakersfield. All seven eligible teams will face off in the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. starting Mar. 9 for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.