After taking a week off, the Western New Mexico Women's Basketball team hosts the Lady Eagles of Northern New Mexico Wednesday evening, before opening conference play on the road at UT Permian Basin.

Projected to finish 15th in the Preseason Poll, and just shy of the post season last season, the Mustangs look to build on last season and out right earn a spot in the playoffs this season starting Saturday.

In their season opener, WNMU outscored hosts Fort Lewis in the second half of game one of the RMAC/LSC Conference Challenge, falling just shy 59-62. In her debut, Alicia Mardis (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) tallied 17-points, shooting 6-9 from the field, adding seven rebounds an assists, and a steal. Daria Vastrushkina contributed 13-points of her own, followed by Paulina Rodriguez (Chihuahua, Mexico/Montverde Academy) with nine.

The Mustangs bounced back in game two, dropping the Cowgirls of New Mexico Highlands 69-50, behind a double-double performance from Mardis. Her 20-points, 11-rebounds and 6-assists were a game high. As a team, WNMU outscored NMHU 24-11 in the fourth quarter and held a 37-28 edge in rebounds.

Northern New Mexico (1-10)
The Lady Eagles opened the season on a bright note with a 76-70 win over University of the Southwest, but have hit a slump since then dropping their last 10 matches, five of which came at the hands of Division II opponents.

Leading the way for the Eagles offense is junior guard, Haley Eaves. In 11 games played, Eaves has maintained an average of 11.9 points per game, while also leading the team in assists (16) and three-pointers (25). She has posted a season high, 21-points twice so far this season.

Freshman, Ahmaya Smith has been a primary starter for the Lady Eagles, second on the team in scoring while leading the defensive efforts with 48 rebounds, and 21 steals. Junior center, Kristen Davis has 11 blocks to her name so far this season, along with 11 steals.

UT – Permian Basin (2-2, 0-0 LSC)
Voted 16th in the LSC Preseason Poll, the Falcons were predicted to finish behind the Mustangs. After going 4-24, 1-19 in league play the Falcons return three from last season squad, while relying on a young freshman class and three Division I transfers.

After starting the season 0-2, with losses to Regis and UC – Colorado Springs, the Falcons won their last two matches in dominant fashion over Arlington Baptist and Dallas Christian. They will look to build their streak with a match against Sul Ross State Tuesday night in Alpine.

In the overall series, UTPB holds a 7-2 edge. Up until last season the Falcons had not dropped a match to the Mustangs. WNMU won both meetings last season between the two.

Holly Hemmeline averages 16.0 ppg, behind a 40.9 shooting percentage from the floor. Her 10, three pointers, 10 assists and 7 steals lead the team.

Teammate Rory Carter averages 10.0 ppg, shooting 7-11 from the field with 30 points total so far this season.

Live from Silver City

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