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#AztecWBB Upsets Fresno State in a Thriller, 70-69

Cierra Warren notched her second career double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday.
Cierra Warren notched her second career double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds on Wednesday.

Jan. 15, 2014

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FRESNO, Calif. - Senior Danesha Long (Long Beach, Calif.) hit a jumper from the right wing with 4.9 seconds left to lift the San Diego State women's basketball team to a 70-69 upset victory over Fresno State Wednesday at Save Mart Center.

With the win, the Aztecs raise their record to 5-9 on the year and even their mark at 2-2 in Mountain West action, while the Bulldogs had their four-game winning streak snapped to move to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

Long finished with a career-high 18 points, including a 4-for-4 effort from three-point range, while fellow classmate Cierra Warren (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) completed her second double-double of the season with a game-high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting to go with 10 rebounds. The Aztecs also received a double-digit scoring effort from freshman Ariell Bostick (Oakland, Calif.), who tossed in 13 points and handed out a game-best five assists.

Despite yielding 13 three-point field-goals, SDSU outscored Fresno State 42-12 in the paint and maintained a 12-2 advantage in fast-break opportunities to help key its big victory. Overall, the Aztecs connected on 30 of 60 shots from the field (50 percent), compared to the Bulldogs' 20-for-55 clip (36.4 percent). In addition, SDSU weathered a 16-for-20 performance at the free-throw line by the host school after draining just five free throws of its own on nine attempts.

The Aztecs grabbed an 11-7 lead by the 15:45 mark of the first half on back-to-back layups by Bostick, before Fresno State nailed three straight triples to reclaim a 16-11 advantage with 13:39 remaining.

SDSU kept things close as a Warren layup with eight minutes left capped a stretch of nine consecutive points for the Aztec center, which narrowed the gap to 28-24. However, two free throws and a three-pointer by Moriah Faulk keyed a 12-7 Bulldog spurt, affording the host school a 40-31 advantage with 3:01 left before halftime.

SDSU received baskets by sophomore Deajanae Scurry (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Bostick down the stretch, before Fresno State's Alex Sheedy got free inside and converted a layup with six seconds on the clock to give the contest its 42-35 lead at intermission.

Fresno State, which connected on eight treys in the period, missed its first six shots from beyond the arc in the second half, allowing SDSU to crawl back into contention. A Warren layup at the 15:43 mark punctuated an 11-3 run that put the Aztecs in front 46-45. The game turned into a slugfest at this juncture, with the two sides combining for eight lead changes and five ties for the remainder of the contest.

After consecutive triples by Long catapulted SDSU back in front 56-51 with 11:36 to go, the Bulldogs seemingly stole the momentum with a 8-0 run, capped by a Bree Farley three-pointer at the 9:48 mark. However, the Aztecs maintained their composure as Long calmly drained another triple, while Warren sank a layup to give the Scarlet and Black a 61-59 edge with 7:52 to go.

SDSU extended its advantage to four points on two occasions, including a 65-61 spread following a basket by junior Khristina Hunter (Fairfield, Calif.) with 3:34 remaining. However, Faulk and Sheedy each nailed a three-pointer, sandwiched around an and-one conversion by Warren, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.

With the Aztecs nursing a slim 68-67 lead, Taylor Thompson came up with a huge steal and was promptly fouled by Bostick, sending the Bulldog guard to the free-throw line with 19 seconds left. Thompson connected on both double-bonus foul shots before the Aztecs called timeout. Then with time winding down, Long corralled the ball on a Bostick pass and launched a high-arcing shot from the right side over two defenders that found the bottom of the net. Fresno State quickly pushed the ball up court, but Thompson's final shot was blocked by Warren in the lane as both players fell to the floor at the horn, sending the SDSU bench into a frenzy.

The Bulldogs, who dropped back into a tie for first place in the Mountain West with Colorado State, had four players reach double figures, including Sheedy, who totaled a team-high 21 points, followed by Faulk (16 pts.), Farley (15 pts.) and Thompson (12 pts.), who finished with a double-double after pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.

San Diego State closes out its two-game road trip on Saturday when it tangles with UNLV at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nev. Opening tip is set for 7 p.m. PT.