SDSU Defeats Air Force to Advance to MW Semifinals

March 7, 2012


 2012 Conoco MW Basketball Championships Central
 2012 Conoco MW Women's Basketball Championship Bracket

LAS VEGAS - Top-seeded San Diego State rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat the No. 8 seed, Air Force, 68-58, in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Conoco Mountain West Championship on Wednesday at Thomas & Mack Center. SDSU advances to the semifinals on Friday vs. fourth-seeded TCU or fifth-seeded Wyoming.

The Aztecs (23-6) jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first half, but the Falcons (6-24) responded with 11 unanswered points to put San Diego State in a 13-6 hole. The rest of the half was an uphill battle, but SDSU fought its way back into the game by taking the ball aggressively to the hoop and earning its way to the free-throw line. Ultimately, the Aztecs trailed, 34-32, at halftime.

In the second half, SDSU scored six points in the first 85 seconds to take a 38-34 lead. From there, the Aztecs pulled away and eventually built an eight-point lead with 13:38 left in regulation. San Diego State kept the Falcons at arm's length the rest of the way to secure its spot in Friday's semifinal.

Chelsea Hopkins led all scorers with 19 points and added eight rebounds, a game-high six assists and had three steals. Backcourt teammate Courtney Clements, meanwhile, posted her second double-double of her career with 18 points (14 in the second half) and a personal-best 11 rebounds. Malia Nahinu chipped in with eight points, four rebounds and a game-high three blocked shots, and Kalena Tutt and Kiyana Stamps scored six points apiece.

The Aztecs will have Thursday off before returning to the court Friday to face the Horned Frogs or Cowboys. The MW semifinal game is set for noon PT.

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