#AztecWBB Wins Ninth Straight; Downs CSU, 60-44
Feb. 13, 2013
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's basketball team won its ninth game in a row on Wednesday, coupling another outstanding defensive effort with some timely baskets en route to a 60-44 victory over Colorado State at Viejas Arena.
With the win, the Aztecs maintain their perch atop the Mountain West with an 18-5 overall record and a 9-1 mark in conference play, while the Rams drop to 7-15 on the year and 3-6 in the MW.
Individually, SDSU received 13 points and a game-high four steals from senior Courtney Clements (Long Beach, Calif.), while classmate Chelsea Hopkins (Las Vegas, Nev.), the reigning MW Player of the Week added 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists. The Aztecs also got some solid production from sophomore Erimma Amarikwa (Vacaville, Calif.), who tallied eight points and five rebounds, while sophomore Chairese Culberson (Oakland, Calif.) chipped in seven points and five boards of her own.
Despite shooting 39.3 percent for the game on 24 of 61 attempts from the floor themselves, the Aztecs stood their ground, limiting the Rams (7-15, 3-6 MW) to 26.5 percent field-goal percentage (13-49), including a 15.8 percent clip in the second half (3-15). In addition, SDSU registered nine steals and eight blocks in the defensive battle, while tying its season-low with just seven turnovers.
Still, the pesky CSU squad gave the Aztecs all they could handle in the first half, grabbing a trio of four-point leads, including a 13-9 spread following a jumper by Sam Martin with 12:13 left. After SDSU forged a tie moments later on consecutive baskets by Hopkins and Clements, the Rams regained the upper hand when LaDeyah Forte drilled a 3-pointer and Alicia Nichols hit a jumper, sandwiched around a bucket by Aztec junior Kiyana Stamps (Moreno Valley, Calif.), to go up 18-15 with 9:53 remaining.
However, the Rams were held scoreless over the next six-plus minutes, as the Aztecs reeled off 16 straight points to build a 31-18 bulge by the 3:45 mark. Sophomore Ahjalee Harvey (Mountain View, Calif.) came off the bench and buried two clutch 3-pointers, while Culberson added another pair of baskets to key the run. CSU responded with a 5-0 spurt, but Stamps followed with a triple, while Clements added a jumper in the final minute after a pair of free throws by the Rams' Caitlin Duffy to give SDSU a 36-25 advantage at halftime.
CSU clawed its way back into contention with a 14-4 run to open the second half, pulling to within 40-39 on two more Duffy foul shots with 12:55 remaining. However, the Aztecs withstood the challenge, as a Clements triple capped an 8-0 blitz to provide the hosts a 48-39 lead with 6:37 to go. After Martin sank two free throws to cut the margin to 48-42 at the 5:40 mark, senior Malia Nahinu (Hayward, Calif.) converted a three-point opportunity to put the Aztecs up 51-42 and the Rams never threatened again. CSU managed just two points the rest of the way on a pair of free throws by Meghan Heimstra, while Amarikwa and Hopkins combined for SDSU's final nine points, with the latter draining a 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining to provide the final outcome of 60-44.
Heimstra led all players with 15 points for CSU, Duffy added 13, while Martin pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds in the loss.
The Aztecs donned pink uniforms as part of the Play 4Kay initiative to promote breast cancer awareness and will do so as well on Sunday when they close off their homestand against UNLV beginning at 1 p.m. PT in Viejas Arena. The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.