Fourth-Quarter Heroics Key in W. Hoops' Win vs. Boise State
Jan. 7, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State women’s basketball employed a tenacious, come-from-behind fourth-quarter performance replete with long balls to topple Boise State, 84-77, in a Mountain West juggernaut at Viejas Arena Saturday afternoon.
The victory, the Aztecs’ fifth in their last six contests, moves San Diego State to 2-1 in Mountain West play for the first time since the 2012-13 season, and gives SDSU a 7-7 overall mark. Boise State, who was picked to finish second in the conference in the preseason coaches’ poll, drops to 12-3 and is now 2-2 against conference opponents.
San Diego State knocked down 11 3-pointers, its second straight game with 10-or-more treys after getting 10 against Nevada on Jan. 4. The Scarlet and Black has not recorded double-digit 3-pointers in back-to-back games since at least the 2001-02 campaign.
Lexy Thorderson led the team from beyond the 3-point arc with a career-high six 3-point field goals, posting 20 points, also a career best. Kymberly Ellison got a trio of fourth-quarter 3-point baskets in just over two minutes, ending the game with 13 points. McKynzie Fort had her second consecutive game with six assists to go alongside 15 points, while Khalia Lark (16) and Geena Gomez (10) also recorded double-digit points. Ariell Bostick led the team with seven rebounds.
“All of our games in conference are going to be closely fought, so I’m expecting this night in and night out,” head coach Stacie Terry said. “I’m most proud of the way these young ladies are finding ways to finish games. This was a great experience for us down the stretch on how to manage the fourth quarter and make free throws down the end to win.”
The game itself was a nail-biter for Aztec and Bronco fans alike. In total, there were 12 lead changes. But in the fourth quarter, SDSU had Viejas Arena buzzing with an electrifying performance. Trailing 61-56, Monique Terry’s layup 45 seconds into the frame opened scoring. Boise State’s Yaiza Rodriguez was able to match that 13 seconds later and, after a Lark jumper, she put down a three for the 66-58 Bronco margin at 7:34.
But the Aztecs were determined to walk off of Steve Fisher Court victorious. San Diego State drilled five 3-pointers during a span of 3:39, including a string of three straight on consecutive possessions by Thorderson, Ellison and Gomez. Ellison knocked down back-to-back treys after that sequence and Lark’s layup at 2:43 put SDSU on top, 75-72. It was a lead the Scarlet and Black would not relinquish, as layups by Gomez and Ellison, three free throws by Fort and a pair of free shots by Bostick would be good for the final 84-77 score.
For the game, San Diego State shot 55.8 percent (29-for-52), as compared to Boise State’s 46.4 percent (32-for-69) performance from the floor. The Aztecs were 15-for-19 (78.9 percent) from the free-throw line, while the Broncos were 5-for-8 (62.5 percent). Assists (22-17) and turnovers (8-10) favored Boise State.
San Diego State hits the road next week for a contest on Weds., Jan. 11 at San Jose State at 7 p.m. before venturing to Utah State on Sat., Jan. 14 for a 2 p.m. (MT) contest.
“In conference play, it’s going to be a battle every night and we have to make sure we’re prepared,” said Terry. “I tell the team that we’re shooting the ball really well right now but that won’t always be the case. When we go on the road like we’re about to for these next two games, we have to do a better job defensively. This is a good conference and every night, you’re going to get the other team’s best and we have to do a better job there.”
Said Thorderson, “This conference seems like it’s really wide open. You never know what can happen. Tonight was a good win for us and I think it’ll be good for us to go into conference with this win. We believe in ourselves and know that anything can happen.”