#AztecWBB Rebounds with Big Win over Boise State, 75-65
Feb. 5, 2014
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's basketball team received balanced scoring, clutch shooting, timely defensive stops and superior play in the middle to key its uplifting 75-65 victory over Boise State in a Mountain West game Wednesday at Viejas Arena.
The Aztecs, who never trailed in the contest, maintained a 40-26 rebounding advantage and a 40-24 edge on points in the paint to help raise their record to 8-11 on the year and 5-4 in conference play, while the Broncos, who entered the night just a game out of first place in the league standings, had their six-game winning streak snapped, falling to 12-9 overall and 7-3 in the MW.
Individually, SDSU had four players finish in double figures, led by freshman Ariell Bostick (Oakland, Calif.), who scored a game-high 19 points, including 14 in the second half, while senior Cierra Warren (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and a game-best 13 rebounds, featuring seven on the offensive glass. In addition, Danesha Long (Long Beach, Calif.) contributed 14 points and a team-high four assists, while junior Khristina Hunter (Fairfield, Calif.) added 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
Coming off a dreadful 29-percent performance from the floor in a lopsided loss at Colorado State last Saturday, the Aztecs regrouped in a big way against Boise, connecting on 26-of-48 field-goal attempts (56.4 percent), compared to a 25-for-43 clip (39.7 percent) by the Broncos.
Despite getting outscored in bench points (20-8) and points off turnovers (28-17), the Aztecs sank 19-of-30 free throws, including a 12-for-16 effort in the first half, while Boise drained just 3 of 5 fouls shots for the entire evening.
SDSU jumped out to an early 11-0 advantage following a Bostick three-pointer and a Hunter layup with 4:42 elapsed in the first half. The Aztecs benefited from five errant shots and four turnovers during that stretch before the Broncos started to chip away at the lead. Tonishia Childress single-handedly brought the visitors back into contention, scoring 10 of Boise's first 12 points, including a triple that narrowed the gap to 17-12 with 10:20 remaining.
However in a pattern that was repeated throughout the game, SDSU seemingly answered every Bronco challenge with clutch scoring of its own. After Bostick converted two foul shots, Warren got free in the middle for a layup to give the hosts a 21-12 cushion at the 9:32 mark. Boise trimmed the margin to six on three occasions, including a 31-25 spread following a Miquelle Askew jumper with 4:26 to go in the period.
The Aztecs responded with seven straight points over the next 3:36, featuring consecutive baskets by Warren and Hunter, along with three free throws, to build their largest lead of the night at 38-25 with 50 seconds before intermission. However, the Broncos put a damper on SDSU's run as Askew hit a foul shot, while Kenna McDavis nailed a long-range triple to give the contest its 38-29 score at halftime.
Nevertheless, the Aztecs rebuilt a series of 12-point leads following the break, including a 53-41 advantage on a pair of free throws by junior Chairese Culberson (Oakland, Calif.) at the 13:49 mark. The Broncos caught lightning in a bottle, connecting on four triples, including three by Kayla Reinhart during a 15-5 blitz that narrowed the gap to 58-56 with 7:43 remaining. However, Long answered with a critical three-pointer on SDSU next possession, while Bostick soon completed an and-one opportunity to cap a 10-2 spurt that restored the hosts' double-digit cushion at 68-58 with 4:23 to play.
The Broncos twice trimmed the deficit to five, including a 70-65 spread following a Childress layup with 3:07 left. That would prove to be Boise's final bucket of the night as the visitors missed their final seven shots and committed three turnovers down the stretch.
In the interim, Warren finished off a crucial layup and came up with two huge blocks on back-to-back Bronco possessions, including one on a McDavis three-point attempt, while Bostick drained a pair of free throws to help put the game away.
Childress led Boise with 18 points, while Reinhart (12 pts.) and Deanna Weaver (10 pts, 7 rebounds) finished with double-digit scoring performances in the loss.
SDSU will return to the court on Saturday, Feb. 8, when it travels to the Silver State to face Nevada n another key MW matchup. Opening tip is set for 4 p.m. PT.