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#AztecWBB Topples Utah State, 88-72

Senior Cierra Warren (20 pts.) notched her sixth 20-point scoring effort of the year vs. Utah State on Saturday.
Senior Cierra Warren (20 pts.) notched her sixth 20-point scoring effort of the year vs. Utah State on Saturday.

Jan. 25, 2014

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SAN DIEGO - Powered by the trio of sophomore Deajanae Scurry (Los Angeles, Calif.), senior Cierra Warren (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and freshman Ariell Bostick (Oakland, Calif.) the San Diego State women's basketball team won its second straight game on Saturday with an impressive 88-72 victory over Utah State in a Mountain West battle at Viejas Arena.

The Aztec troika combined for 60 of the team's 88 points on a collective 21-for-38 effort (55.2 percent) from the field as SDSU raised its record to 7-10 on the year and 4-3 in conference play.

Scurry recorded a career-high 22 points, draining 9-of-13 field-goal attempts, including four during a three-minute stretch in the second half to help extinguish a late Aggie threat. In addition, Warren notched 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting and added eight free throws, while Bostick finished with a personal-best 18 points of her own to go with a game-high six assists.

On the flip side, USU (8-10, 2-5 MW) dropped its fifth in a row despite 25 points from the conference's leading scorer Jennifer Schlott. The Aggies were plagued by 26 turnovers, including seven apiece by Schlott and teammate Elise Nelson, as the Aztecs parlayed those miscues into 33 points.

As a team, SDSU connected on 31 of 62 attempts (50 percent) from the floor, including a 6-for-13 clip from three-point range, while USU went 29-for-66 on the day (44 percent), including a 1-for-9 performance from beyond the arc in the first half. The Aztecs also got to the foul line more often, draining 20-of-29 free throws, compared to the Aggies' 9-for-12 effort from the charity stripe.

The two sides combined for seven lead changes and two ties in the first seven minutes of action until SDSU went in front for good at 15-12 following a three-pointer by junior Chairese Culberson (Oakland, Calif.). USU responded with a layup by Ingrida Strikas, but a triple by senior Danesha Long (Long Beach, Calif.) at the 9:31 mark capped a 9-0 blitz to put the Aztecs up 24-14, forcing the Aggies into pursuit mode for the remainder of the contest.

The lead eventually swelled to 20 points on three occasions, including a 47-27 spread at intermission after freshman Chloe Johnson (Phoenix, Ariz.) converted a fancy reverse layup to beat the horn.

In all, SDSU shot 18-for-31 from the floor (58 percent) in the first half and scored 22 points off 16 USU turnovers, while the visitors tallied just six points on 10 Aztec blunders.

SDSU seemed primed to run away with the contest after Warren drained an easy layup on the first possession of the second half to give the hosts their largest lead of the game at 49-27. However, the Aztecs went into a funk, misfiring on 12 of 13 field goal attempts over the ensuing nine minutes, while committing seven turnovers. In the interim, the Aggies crawled back into contention, aided by the hot shooting of Lynette Johnson, who scored nine points during a 23-8 USU outburst, which narrowed the gap to 57-50 by spurt with 10:56 left on the clock.

Following a pair of Aztec misses, the Aggies had a chance to cut the deficit to four, but Schlott's three-point attempt rimmed out as Long corralled the rebound and was subsequently fouled. The SDSU guard sank both free throws, while Warren made a layup shortly thereafter to pump new life into the host school.

USU answered with a trey by former Aztec Jasmine Porter, who transferred to the Aggie squad following the 2011-12 campaign, but Bostick came up huge at the other end, converting an and-one opportunity, while Warren promptly drained two foul shots to give SDSU a 66-53 cushion with 8:12 to go.

Scurry took over at this juncture, scoring eight of the Aztecs' next 11 points, as SDSU's lead ballooned to 20 once again at 77-57 with 5:05 remaining. USU connected on just one of five field goals and committed four turnovers during that fateful three-minute span. Despite a pair of triples by Schlott and another by Shelby Cloninger, the Aggies were never able to get any closer than 16 points the rest of the way as Bostick nailed six free throws down the stretch to help keep the visitors at bay.

The Aztecs will have a bye next Wednesday before returning to action on Saturday, Feb. 1, with road clash at Colorado State. Game is set for 2 p.m. MT/1 p.m. PT.