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#AztecWBB Claims 10th Straight; Defeats UNLV, 86-50


Feb. 17, 2013

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SAN DIEGO - With its trademark defense on full display, the San Diego State women's basketball team claimed its 10th win in a row on Sunday with a convincing 86-50 victory over UNLV in a Mountain West clash at Viejas Arena. Four players posted double-digit point totals to help the Aztecs raise their record to 19-5 overall and keep sole possession of first place in the conference standings with a 10-1 mark. Conversely, the Lady Rebels, who dressed just eight players, slip to 10-15 on the season and 6-5 in league play with the loss.

SDSU's balanced scoring effort was paced by senior Courtney Clements (Long Beach, Calif.), who tossed in 18 points, including a 7-for-7 effort at the free-throw line, while sophomore Erimma Amarikwa (Vacaville, Calif.) tallied 16 points of her own on 6-of-8 shooting to go with six rebounds. The Aztec cause was also aided by senior Chelsea Hopkins (La Vegas, Nev.), who contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while classmate Malia Nahinu (Hayward, Calif.) finished with 10 points and equaled her season-best with four blocks.

SDSU forced 21 turnovers, outscoring UNLV 29-11 off those miscues and tied its season high with 13 steals, including a career-best five takeaways by junior Kiyana Stamps (Moreno Valley, Calif.). The Scarlet and Black also held a dominating 50-16 advantage on points in the paint, while maintaining a sizeable 45-31 rebounding margin, including a 19-11 spread on the offensive glass. In addition, the Aztecs collected 10 blocks, marking the third time this season that the team logged double-digit rejections in a single game.

The Aztecs connected on 33-of-70 field goal attempts (47.1 percent), while Lady Rebels were just 17-for 32 from the floor (32.7 percent).

Kelli Thompson notched 28 of UNLV's 50 points to lead all scorers. However, the Lady Rebels could not match SDSU's depth, as the Aztecs outscored the visitors 29-5 in bench points.

Despite being shorthanded, UNLV built a trio of four-point leads early in the first half, including an 18-14 margin following a Thompson triple with 13:06 to go. Unfazed, the Aztec defense rose to the occasion, limiting the Lady Rebels to just five points for the remainder of the half. In the interim, SDSU received valuable production from Stamps, whose layup and 3-pointer sandwiched around a pair of Clements foul shots, put the hosts up for good at 25-20 by the 6:53 mark. Shortly thereafter, Nahinu and Amarikwa alternated baskets on the Aztecs' next four possessions, while sophomore Ahjalee Harvey (Mountain View, Calif.) drove in for a layup to give SDSU a sudden 35-22 advantage with 2:21 remaining. Then in the closing moments, senior Gabrielle Clark (Los Angeles, Calif.) sliced through the lane for a bucket on a gorgeous feed from Nahinu, while sophomore Khristina Hunter hit a free throw to provide the contest its 38-23 score at the half.

Following the break, UNLV trimmed the margin to 10 on two occasions, including a 42-32 spread after two Thompson foul shots at the 17:18 mark. However, the Lady Rebels were unable to draw any closer, as consecutive layups by Hunter and Harvey capped a 23-10 spurt over a span of 8:21 to put SDSU firmly in control at 65-42 with 8:56 remaining.

For the second straight game, the Aztecs donned pink uniforms as part of the Play 4Kay initiative to promote breast cancer awareness.

SDSU returns to the court on Wednesday, Feb. 20, when it travels to Wyoming for a key MW battle, starting at 7 p.m. PT (6 p.m. MT).