Aztec Women's Basketball Downs UC Irvine, 63-53
Nov. 14, 2012
SAN DIEGO -
Erimma Amarikwa had her first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the San Diego State women's basketball team to a 63-53 victory over UC Irvine Wednesday night at Viejas Arena in San Diego.
It was the 350th career win for Aztec head coach Beth Burns, who improved to 350-244 (.589) overall and 269-179 (.600) in her 15 years (1989-97, 2005-present) with SDSU.
Amarikwa was 7-for-12 from the field and made both of her free-throw attempts. Amarikwa, who averaged just 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game as a freshman last year, ended up with career highs tonight in points, rebounds, blocks (3), field goals and minutes played (32).
San Diego State (1-1) also received double-digit scoring efforts from Courtney Clements and Chelsea Hopkins. Clements, the reigning Mountain West Player of the Year and honorable mention All-American last season, scored 13 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Hopkins, who joined Clements on the preseason all-conference team this year, had 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Aztecs jumped out to a 10-point lead with 3:50 left in the first half when Clements made two free throws. The Anteaters (0-2), however, scored nine unanswered points over the next 1:27 to close to within one at 23-22 with 2:23 remaining. Clements stopped the run with a layup and Ahjalee Harvey added another layup with seven seconds left to give SDSU a 27-22 advantage at the half.
San Diego State forced 10 turnovers in the first half and limited UCI to just 21.9 percent (7-for-32) shooting from the floor.
Camille Buckley made a pair of free throws early in the second half to get UC Irvine to within three at 27-24, but the Aztecs answered with a 14-2 run over the next 4:40, culminating with a layup by Amarikwa with 14:49 left to take a 41-26 lead. Amarikwa had eight of the team's 14 points in the decisive run.
SDSU led by as many as 18 at 63-45 when Hopkins nailed a 3-pointer with 2:31 to go. The Anteaters scored the final eight points but couldn't get into single-digits as San Diego State finished with the 63-53 triumph.
The Aztecs were 15-for-26 (57.7 percent) from the field in the second half and 26-for-57 (45.6 percent) for the game. They forced 20 turnovers and got a combined 10 blocks from Malia Nahinu (4), Amarikwa (3) and Deajanae Scurry (3).
Nahinu had eight points, while Harvey chipped in with eight points, a game-high six assists and a career three steals in 30 minutes off the bench.
Jasmine Bernard was the only UC Irvine player in double figures, recording 18 points and three steals in just 23 minutes. Pernilla Hanson added nine points and four steals.
SDSU plays host to Cal State Dominguez Hills at 2 p.m. Saturday at Viejas Arena.