Balanced scoring, defensive performance empowers Aggies to defeat Tarleton

LAS CRUCES, NM After ending 2022 by winning four of their last five meetings, NM State (8-8, 3-1 WAC) continued into 2023, clinching a 61-43 win over Tarleton (6-8, 0:3). Afternoon at the Pan American Center. Molly Kaiser led the Aggies by 13 points in the standings for the fourth time this season, while Taylor Donaldson in 11 points with four helpers and added Shania Harper recorded her first double-double of the season. The Aggies were never behind and led by within 15 seconds throughout the game. Defense showed up, too, holding the Texans’ top scorer (Teresa De Silva) on two points in a 1-7 shooting while the team shot 33% from field and 20% from beyond the arc.

The Aggies took a 6-0 lead, led by their suffocating defense, forcing two quick turnovers and keeping Tarleton bucketless until 6:08 stayed in the quarter. After the Texans drew within two (6-4), both teams went into a prolonged scoring drought of over four minutes until a Harper layup with 1:51 gave NM State an 8-4 advantage. Molly Kaisers The first bucket of the afternoon put a point in the first quarter with the Aggies leading 10-6.

In the second quarter, the two teams essentially traded buckets, with NM State’s lead never growing more than six points or shrinking below three. High-low action in between Taylor Donaldson and newly checked-in Lucia Yenes led to an easy bucket of paint for Yenes, giving the Aggies a 16-10 lead with 5:56 left in the quarter. With 3:02 left at halftime, Mayra Caicedo drilled a three from the right side of the court to make it a one-score game (19-17), prompting a timeout from Jody Adams. Back-to-back sweaters by Donaldson and Ashlee Straw Bridge with a buzzer hitting layup Molly Kaiser gave NM State a seven-point lead at halftime, 26-19.

After some back and forth in the first half, the Aggies upped the pressure in the third quarter. A steadfast NM state defense kept the Texans at 28% shooting, with seven turnovers and just six total points in the quarter. On the other half of the court, the Aggies used a balancing attack to steadily increase their lead. Seven different players scored in the third, including Sofia Inoussawho bagged a three from the left corner for her first bucket of the night and extended the lead to 20 (40-20). Silena Peterson He also made his mark in the second half, contributing six of Aggie’s last eight points for a 48-25 lead into the fourth quarter.

With a 22-point lead going into the final frame, chosen to get some of their reserves off the bench and into play. Despite this, the Aggies still shot 40% out of the field during the quarter and continued to overtake the Texas. One player who prevailed with the glass was Shania Harper. Harper recorded Aggies’ second double-double of the season with her performance of 11 points and 10 rebounds. The last Aggie to record a double-double was Silena Peterson. She amassed 22 points and 11 assists at the San Diego Winter Classic on December 3, 2022. The Texans were able to beat the Aggies 18-13 in the final stages of the game, but that wasn’t enough as the Aggies defeated Tarleton. 61-43.


  • Best start to conference play since the 2018-2019 season when the Aggies were managed by Brooke Salas and Gia package went 15-1 in WAC competition and secured an NCAA tournament spot
  • Molly Kaiser ended her tenth double-digit performance of the season with 13 points and ninth in the past twelve games.
  • Punctures sales margin heavily in favor of Aggies (19-6)
  • Shania Harper made her second straight start and recorded a double-double of ten points and 11 rebounds in 21 minutes.
  • The Aggies dominated Tarleton on the glass (34-20), particularly on the offensive glass (12-4)
  • Taylor Donaldson scored 11 points that night, her sixth double-digit scoring effort of the season
  • Paint Points Advantage Aggies (32-16)
  • NM State held Tarleton to 33% shooting, 27% from three.


The Aggies will be back at the Pan Am next Thursday (January 7) at 4pm MST where they will play Sam Houston. This will be the second of those three home games before they conclude with Utah Tech next Saturday (January 14), also at 4:00 p.m. MST.