All good streaks must come to an end.
Utah State’s women’s basketball team found that out the hard way Saturday night.
Stefanie Gilbreath had 27 points and 11 rebounds as New Mexico State beat the northern Aggies 106-94 in a Western Athletic Conference game Saturday night at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M.
Danesia Williamson added 23 points and 10 assists for the southern Aggies (11-14, 5-10 WAC), who snapped USU’s eight-game winning streak.
“The only positive we can take away from it is this could be a wake-up call — get the kids’ attention a little bit,” Utah State head coach Jerry Finkbeiner said. “If we have softened up the last eight games, at least now we have a wake-up call.
“We’ve got 12 days until our next game, so we’re going to take some good time off and hopefully refocus physically and mentally.”
Devyn Christensen paced four USU players in double-figure scoring with 23 points. Jennifer Schlott scored 18, Franny Vaaulu had 16 and Jenna Johnson finished with 10.
The northern Aggies (14-11, 11-3), who shot 14 for 28 from 3-point range and 22 for 23 from the free throw line, came into the game fresh off a double-overtime win at Denver on Thursday night.
“Taking a realistic look at it, the game 48 hours ago at Denver, I think, took a lot out of a couple of kids,” Finkbeiner said. “Jenna Johnson just wasn’t herself tonight.”
Johnson was hampered by early foul trouble.
“It was a perfect storm. New Mexico State really took it at us,” Finkbeiner said. “I think we were a little bit tired and then the other thing is mentally, we weren’t very tough the second half.”
No, USU wasn’t.
The game was tied 39-apiece at intermission, but the northern Aggies opened the second half by shooting 1 for 10.
“The second half, we came out cold and they came out hot,” Finkbeiner said. “It was just one of those games, one of those games on the road that I don’t know if it was meant for us to get one tonight.”
Abby Scott scored 16 points off the bench for the southern Aggies, who shot 52.9 percent and outscored USU 67-55 in the second half.
Kelsie Rozendaal (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Sasha Weber (11 points) also scored in double figures for NMSU, which led by as many as 22 in the second half.
“New Mexico State is 5-10 now in conference, but they played a lot better than that,” Finkbeiner said. “They’re a team I wouldn’t want to see in the first round (of the WAC tournament), that’s for sure.”
USU struggled on the defensive side of the ball all night long as it only had two steals and one block. NMSU shot 42.7 percent in the game and scored 16 points off 13 turnovers by the northern Aggies.
The southern Aggies opened the second half on a 9-1 run and they never looked back.
“We were in a hole immediately,” Finkbeiner said.
USU returns to the court Feb. 28 when it welcomes Louisiana Tech to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.