By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
SAN JUAN, P.R. – The Tennessee Tech women's basketball team made a valiant comeback on Saturday against New Mexico State, but the Aggies' 20-point lead in the third quarter was too much to overcome as the Golden Eagles close out the San Juan Shootout with a 66-54 loss.
Tech (2-4) return to action on Wednesday as the Golden Eagles head to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Lady Vols for a 5:30 p.m. Central contest.
The Golden Eagles had three players score in double-figures, led by Mackenzie Coleman and Anna Jones each with 13 points, while Jada Guinn had 12 points. Jones had seven of her points at the free-throw line as she went 7-for-12 after drawing 10 fouls in the contest.
Tech spent a lot of time at the charity stripe as the Golden Eagles drew 24 fouls and went 18-for-30 at the line. In addition to Jones' seven points, Guinn was 6-for-8 on free throws.
Guinn and Coleman each had a team-best seven rebounds, while Coleman and Jones led Tech in assists as well.
New Mexico State (3-2) emptied the bench, getting 14 players in action in the contest as the Aggies scored 31 of their 66 points from the substitutes. Deja Terrell played 18:36 in relief and went on to become NMSU's top scorer in the game, tabbing in 11 points as she was 4-for-6 from the field and 3-for-3 at the free-throw line.
A trio of Aggie starters – Bigue Sarr, Melanie Isbell and Jade Bradley – had nine points. Sarr was 3-for-5 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line, while Isbell was 3-for-5, hitting all three of her 3-point tries and had a team-best four assists. Bradley was 3-for-7, 1-for-1 from three and 2-for-3 at the line.
After trailing by three at the end of the first quarter, the Aggies outscored Tech 13-7 in the second to take a 26-17 advantage at the half. The Golden Eagles went 3-for-14 during the 10-minute span, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range. It was a recurring theme for Tech in the game, going 2-for-16 from long range with Megan Clark and Maaliya Owens knocking down the two successful shots in the game.
The Golden Eagles fared better in the third quarter, bolstered by a 7-for-14 effort at the free-throw line as Tech shot 3-for-10. However, the Aggies extended their advantage using a 10-0 run, outscoring Tech 24-13 as NMSU was 8-for-14 from the field and 6-for-9 from the line.
Tech chipped away in the fourth quarter as the Golden Eagles spent more time at the free-throw line, going 10-for-14, using that to outscore the Aggies in the final stanza 24-16. Tech got the deficit back within single digits late, but NMSU went back to the final 12-point margin in the waning seconds.
File photo | Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information