Hopkins' Triple-Double Lifts #AztecWBB Past Nevada

Jan. 23, 2013

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SAN DIEGO - San Diego State's Chelsea Hopkins (Las Vegas, Nev.) notched her third triple-double of the season and second in the last week, and the Aztec women's basketball team surged past visiting Nevada, 69-57, in a Mountain West game Wednesday at Viejas Arena.

Hopkins scored a career-high 25 points, including 22 in the second half, while adding 10 rebounds and 10 assists to help the Aztecs (13-5, 4-1 MW) maintain a share of first place with Fresno State in the conference standings. SDSU also received key contributions from sophomore Erimma Amarikwa (Vacaville, Calif.), who totaled 15 points and six rebounds, and senior Courtney Clements (Long Beach, Calif.), who finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

With the Aztecs trailing 46-42 at the 11:17 mark of the second half, Hopkins tallied 11 points during a decisive 13-0 run in a span of two minutes that put the host school in front for good at 55-46. The Aztec senior buried a 3-pointer to start the rally and then converted two and-one opportunities sandwiched around a layup by Amarikwa. The Wolf Pack (6-11, 1-3 MW) soon countered with an 11-4 spurt, narrowing the gap to 59-57 on a Danika Sharp jumper with 4:36 left on the clock.

However, Nevada was kept off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game as Hopkins and Amarikwa drained consecutive layups to snuff out the visitors' momentum. Hopkins then sank four free throws down the stretch, while Clements added two of her own to provide the contest its final outcome of 69-57.

The Aztecs shot just 34.7 percent on the evening (26-75), including a 30.2 clip in the first half (13-43), while the Wolf Pack connected on 40 percent of its field-goal attempts (20-50). However, SDSU won the turnover battle (15-23), tying its season high with 13 steals while outscoring Nevada 28-11 off those miscues to extend its winning streak to four games. The Aztecs also maintained a 49-38 advantage in rebounds and a 40-26 spread on points in the paint.

The Wolf Pack had three players in double-figures, led by Chanelle Brennan's 15 points and nine rebounds, while Sharp and Emily Burns finished with 12 apiece in the loss.

The two sides combined for five ties and four lead changes in the first half as SDSU misfired on numerous scoring chances from close range. Nevada built a pair of five-point leads, including a 19-14 spread following a Nyasha LeSure layup at the 10:28 mark. However, a jumper by senior Malia Nahinu (Hayward, Calif.) with 3:59 remaining punctuated a 13-5 spurt to put the Aztecs in front 27-24. The Wolf Pack fought back to tie the score on two occasions, but freshman Aleiah Brandon (Corona, Calif.) drilled a jumper from the right baseline, while Hopkins sank a late free throw to give a SDSU a 33-31 edge heading into the locker room.

Following the break, a basket by senior Gabrielle Clark (Los Angeles, Calif.) put the Aztecs up 37-33 at the 17:50 mark. However, the Wolf Pack countered with 13-5 run over a span of 6:33, highlighted by two LeSure jumpers, which put the visitors up 46-42, before Hopkins stole the stage.

SDSU returns to the hardwood on Saturday, Jan. 26, when it squares off against New Mexico at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., starting at 6 p.m. MT/5 p.m. PT.

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