Women's Basketball Falls In A Thriller To Nevada, 63-61
Nov. 27, 2010
RENO, Nev. - The San Diego State women's basketball team rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to take the lead, but couldn't come away with the victory, falling in the championship game of the Nugget Classic to host Nevada, 63-61, Saturday evening at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nev. With the loss, the Aztecs dropped to 1-4 on the season, while the Wolf Pack improved to 5-1.
Senior Paris Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) once again led SDSU with 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting, while also tallying seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Combined with her 27-point, 12-rebound performance in the first game of the weekend in a win over Minnesota, the 6-4 center averaged nearly a double-double to take home all-tournament honors for the sixth time in her career.
Joining her on the six-player all-tourney squad was classmate Jessika Bradley (Sacramento, Calif.), who came away with a team-best eight rebounds and three blocked shots in 25 minutes vs. Nevada. Sophomore guard Courtney Clements (Long Beach, Calif.) added 11 points and four boards, while junior point guard Sajoyia Griffin (San Antonio, Texas) had her best performance of the year with a career-high nine points, five rebounds and seven assists, compared to just one turnover.
There were four ties and six lead changes in the first 10 minutes of the game as each side boasted a four-point advantage. Nevada then utilized a 3-pointer coming out of a 19-19 tie to go on a 9-0 run and surge ahead, 28-19. The Aztecs responded with their first basket in nearly four minutes on a fastbreak lay-up by Clements, followed by a turnaround bank shot by Candace Chambers (Seattle, Wash.) and a Clements triple to close the gap to just two at 28-26.
The Wolf Pack began to pile up trips to the free-throw line as four of five Aztec starters were each whistled for two fouls apiece and 11 overall in the half. Nevada used a 13-for-16 performance at the stripe to head into the break up by six points at 39-33.
Neither team was able to sink much of anything in the first four minutes coming out of the locker room, as the two sides combined for only six points. The Wolf Pack broke its stalemate first, building its largest lead of the game at 51-40 at the 13:59 mark.
The Aztecs, however, wouldn't go down easily, answering back with 9-2 run to close to within only four points at both 53-49 and 55-51, before a Chambers free throw made it a three-point game at 57-54 with exactly six minutes to play.
Neither school scored until a Clements fast-break bucket got the SDSU deficit to just one at 57-56 and 4:29 to go in the game. SDSU would gain its first lead since the first half when Johnson hit both free throws for a 58-57 advantage.
Coming out of a timeout Nevada's Tahnee Robinson hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc, but Johnson tied it at 60 with a lay-up off an assist from Bradley. Robinson would strike again the next time up the floor, making what would turn out to be the winning basket with 25 seconds remaining to give her squad another two-point advantage at 62-61.
Bradley was fouled on the Aztecs' next possesion, but was only able to make the first of her two free throws, as Robinson secured the rebound and was then fouled herself. She made one of two shots at the stripe and Aztec Coco Davis attempted to get the ball down the court with only four seconds left, but was unable to make the final shot near half court, as the Wolf Pack survived for the 63-61 win.
Nevada was led by Robinson's 20 points, while tournament MVP Shavon Moore scored 16 points and had nine rebounds. SDSU enjoyed a huge advantage with a 49.1 field-goal percentage, but the Wolf Pack shot 18-for-22 at the line, committed only 14 turnovers and had a +10 margin on the offensive glass.
The Aztecs head back home to prepare for a Tuesday evening contest across town at the University of San Diego, beginning at 7 p.m. at Jenny Craig Pavilion.