Two-time WAC Player of the Year Brooke Salas left it all on the floor, collecting her 21st double-double of the season but it wasn't enough as NM State fell to host Iowa State, 97-61, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.
The Aggies looked to counter the Iowa State size by shooting the three-pointer and they did that in the first quarter, making 4-of-9 to put up 16 first quarter points. The Cyclones focussed on getting the ball to the post, scoring 12 points in the paint en route to 23 points to take a seven-point lead midway through the first half.
The second quarter did not go the way the Aggies wanted, with Iowa State using a 10-0 run to go ahead 36-18 with 7:06 on the clock. Another Cyclone run late in the quarter gave ISU a 50-26 halftime lead.
NM State came out fighting in the second half, making two three-pointers early but Iowa State continued to battle tough, scoring 30 third-quarter points to take an 80-44 lead into the final period.
The Cyclone offense finally slowed down in the fourth quarter but it was too little, too late as the Aggies fell 97-61 to end their season.
The Aggies were led by Salas, who scored 18 points to go with 12 rebounds for her 21st double-double of the season in her final collegiate game. Junior Gia Pack added 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Aggies struggled to find their shot, making just 21-of-77 attempts from the field. NM State also struggled on the glass as ISU outrebounded the Aggies, 59-33.
NM State concludes the season with a record of 26-7, having won both the WAC regular season and tournament titles.