9:00 PM ET, December 19, 2006
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico had a hard time finding the basket Tuesday night, but it helped that rival New Mexico State had an even harder time.New Mexico (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today; No. 23 AP) hit about a third of its shots overall, but consistent shooting from the free-throw line and a few 3-pointers from Julie Briody helped the Lobos to a 65-45 win over the Aggies. New Mexico (9-2) headed into the second half with a 37-21 lead and missed its first nine shots, but NMSU coach Darin Spence said his team was unable to take advantage of the Lobos' poor shooting. "It's not so much what they did but I think its more what we do to ourselves," Spence said, explaining that the Aggies (4-7) had players open but failed to pass the ball. Briody scored 12 of her 19 points on 3s. She was joined in double figures by Katie Montgomery, who scored 14, and Angela Hartill, who added 10. Sherell Neal and Cecilia Russell-Nava led the Aggies with 11 points each. New Mexico shot 35.7 percent overall, but finished 17 of 24 from the line and hit 8 of 14 from the 3-point arc, with four of them coming from Briody. The Lobos also beat the Aggies on the boards, 41-31, and kept their defense held NMSU at 32.7 percent shooting overall. NMSU started the game with a free throw, but the Lobos led the rest of the way. They were even able to withstand a scoring drought early in the second half that ended when Briody hit back-to-back 3s 12:17 remaining. During the same period, New Mexico's defense buckled down and forced the Aggies to miss their shots. NMSU hit only 4 of 11 to open the half. "It was contesting shots, blocking out and defending the low post," New Mexico coach Don Flanagan said. With the win, the Lobos stretched their streak against the Aggies to 22. The last time NMSU (4-7) beat New Mexico was a 78-73 double overtime win in Las Cruces on Dec. 22, 1995.