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#AztecWBB Overpowers Fresno State, 74-49

Malia Nahinu notched a double-double at Fresno State with a career-high 18 points and a season-best 11 rebounds.
Malia Nahinu notched a double-double at Fresno State with a career-high 18 points and a season-best 11 rebounds.

Feb. 9, 2013

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FRESNO, Calif. - The San Diego State women's basketball team won its eighth straight game and took over sole possession of first place in the Mountain West with a convincing 74-49 victory over Fresno State in a battle of conference co-leaders Saturday at Save Mart Center.

The Aztecs (17-5, 8-1 MW) had four players supply 72 of their 74 points, led by senior Courtney Clements (Long Beach, Calif.), who tossed in a game-high 20 points, including four 3-point baskets, while classmates Malia Nahinu (Hayward, Calif.) and Chelsea Hopkins (Las Vegas, Nev.) completed double-doubles. Nahinu tallied a collegiate-best 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, tying for game-high honors in that category with Hopkins, who scored 17 points and dished out seven assists. Not to be outdone, sophomore Erimma Amarikwa (Vacaville, Calif.) finished with a career-high 17 points of her own on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed seven boards.

As a team, SDSU shot 51.7 percent from the field (31-60) and owned a 46-31 advantage in rebounds, including a decisive 31-14 margin on the defensive glass, to help snap the Bulldogs' (15-7, 7-2 MW) 20-game home winning streak. In addition, the Aztecs dominated the paint by a sizeable 46-26 margin and outscored Fresno State 19-11 off turnovers.

Ki-Ki Moore and Rosie Moult posted 15 points and seven rebounds apiece to lead the Bulldogs. However, the host school was limited to a 32.3 field goal percentage (20-62) for the contest and sank just 4 of 14 free throws.

Alex Sheedy hit a jumper in the opening minute to give Fresno State its only lead of the game, but two Hopkins 3-pointers served as bookends to a quick 14-2 run that put SDSU in front for good by the 15:50 mark. The Bulldogs closed to within 16-11 following a triple by Moult with14:46 to go. However, the Aztecs answered with eight straight points, capped by a Nahinu basket, to take firm control. Then with the half winding down, a Clements shot found the bottom of the net to give SDSU a 42-26 cushion at the break.

The Aztecs kept firing on all cylinders after intermission, eventually taking their biggest lead of the evening at 70-40 on a Nahinu layup with seven minutes remaining. Fresno State reeled off nine straight points, punctuated by two Robin Draper free throws with 2:27 to go, but could draw no closer, as a pair of Nahinu buckets down the stretch fittingly closed out the scoring.

For the second straight game, SDSU totaled nine blocks, with Clements and Nahinu finishing with three rejections apiece.

The Aztecs will open a two-game homestand beginning Wednesday, Feb. 13, when Colorado State pays a visit to Viejas Arena. Opening tip is slated for 7 p.m. PT.