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Aztec Basketball Routs Air Force 79-28 In Conference Opener

Gabrielle Clark scored a career-high 10 points in the win.
Gabrielle Clark scored a career-high 10 points in the win.

Jan. 7, 2009

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SAN DIEGO - San Diego State jumped out to a 15-0 lead and never looked back, defeating visiting Air Force, 79-28, Wednesday night in both teams' Mountain West Conference opener at Cox Arena. With the victory, the Aztecs claimed their first league-opening win since 2005 and improved to 10-3 on the year, including a 7-0 mark at home. The Falcons, meanwhile, dropped to 4-10 in 2008-09.

"Confidence helps us play better," Aztec head coach Beth Burns said. "We've continued to have good practices and we have a really special backcourt that is able to control the tempo at both ends of the floor. They set the tone tonight.

"I thought our first unit did a great job, but what I thought was more important was that there was no slippage (in play) when the second team came in. The younger players really executed and it couldn't be better for us heading into the Utah game that we have a confident team, which is what we will need to have to do the things we want to do in this league."

Four SDSU players finished in double-figures as 13 players logged minutes. Junior guard Jené Morris (San Francisco, Calif.) led the team in scoring with 16 points in just 21 minutes of action. Morris added four steals, as did classmate Quenese Davis (Sacramento, Calif.), who also posted 12 points and five assists.

Sophomore center Paris Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) had 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks, while freshman Gabrielle Clark (Los Angeles, Calif.) had a career-high 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting.

The Aztecs never trailed in the game, going up 15-0 before Air Force finally put points on the board with a three-pointer at the 13:04 mark. SDSU answered the Falcon basket with three straight buckets by Johnson to take an 18-point advantage at 21-3. The Aztecs led by as many as 30 points before heading into the locker room up by 28 at 38-10.

San Diego State scored the first five points coming out of the break on a Morris three-pointer and a lay-up. The Aztecs would outscore the Falcons 14-4 in the first seven minutes of the second half and moved their lead all the way out to 52 points at 76-24, before securing the 79-28 victory.

SDSU's 51-point margin was its largest in a Mountain West Conference game in the league's 10-year history, beating the previous mark of 34 points last season against Colorado State. The 28 points were the fewest the Falcons have scored in a game in their program history.

Air Force was led by Kathleen Schjodt's eight points, while two players contributed four points apiece in the loss.

The Aztecs will hit the road for the first time since November when they take on preseason league favorite Utah on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Chris Ello will have the live audio call of the game on SDSU's official website, www.goaztecs.com. The game will be televised live on The Mtn.