Although the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team held a one-point advantage in the second half, it wouldn’t be enough to overcome a halftime deficit of 30 points as New Mexico State University claimed the 89-60 exhibition win Sunday afternoon.

The game counted as an exhibition for the Lady Mustangs, while it was a regular season contest for the Aggies.

NMSU jumped out early and often as they outscored WNMU 26-13 in the first quarter and then used a 29-12 scoring burst in the second quarter to open up a 55-25 halftime lead. The Lady Mustangs stayed with it and after putting up their best quarter of the night in the third with 19 points, they would outscore the Aggies 16-10 in the fourth to hold a 35-34 edge over the final 20 minutes of the contest.

Senior Jade Botelho had her best game of the season putting up 21 points, making 8-18 from the field, along with seven rebounds and three assists. Junior Ciara Fields also reached double-digits with 11 points and pulled down six rebounds. Junior Takiyah Lopez and freshmen Rachel Francisco and Jenika Padilla added seven points apiece. Lopez had a team-best four assists.

NMSU quickly moved out to a 7-0 lead just over a minute in. Botelho got the Lady Mustangs on the board at the 8:20 mark when she connected on a jumper in the paint. After falling behind by as many as 16 points a couple of times, WNMU rallied late in the quarter to pull to within 11 when Fields hit a layup before NMSU drilled a jumper with 10 seconds to play for the 26-13 lead after the first quarter.

It was all Aggies in the second quarter, as they moved the lead into the 20’s and then carried a 55-25 lead into halftime.

After NMSU pushed the lead to their largest of the night at 40, the Lady Mustangs ended the third frame on a 5-0 run in just 30 seconds with Padilla and Lopez hitting foul shots, before Botelho cashed in a turnover with a layup at the buzzer.

WNMU continued the run into the fourth quarter with senior Melody McLaughlin hitting a pair of foul shots just over a minute in. Following a basket by NMSU with 4:15 to play, WNMU kept them off the board the remainder of the game and finished on a 5-0 run to provide the final score. Fields hit a three and then Lopez and McLaughlin hit a free throw each during the spurt.

Eight players had at least six points for NMSU with Aaliyah Prince leading the way with 16 points. Brooke Salas had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. NMSU made 35-68 (52) from the field, 7-19 (37) from three and 12-17 (71) at the foul line. WNMU made 20-56 (36) from the field, 4-14 (29) from three and 16-22 (73) at the foul line.

WNMU will have a quick turnaround as they will return to Lone Star Conference play this coming Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in Portales when they will face in-state rival Eastern New Mexico.

Live from Silver City

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Editor's Note

The Grant county Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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