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Women's Basketball Rallies to Defeat USD, 58-54

Courtney Clements scored a season-high 28 points on Saturday at USD.
Courtney Clements scored a season-high 28 points on Saturday at USD.

Dec. 8, 2012

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SAN DIEGO - Senior Courtney Clements recorded a season-high 28 points, including 19 in the second half, to lift the visiting San Diego State women's basketball team to a 58-54 come-from-behind victory over the University of San Diego on Saturday at Jenny Craig Pavilion.

The Aztecs overcame an 11-point deficit and weathered a nearly nine-minute scoring drought in the first half to pull out the win and raise their record to 5-3 on the season. Meanwhile, the Toreros sank just 10 field goals after intermission to slip to 6-2 overall.

In addition to Clements' production, senior Malia Nahinu posted a season-best 14 points to go along with eight rebounds and four blocks, while fellow classmate Chelsea Hopkins contributed eight points, six boards and game-high six assists. Not to be outdone, senior Gabrielle Clark chipped in a career-best 10 rebounds, as the Scarlet and Black maintained a slight 48-47 edge on the glass, including a 20-19 spread on the offensive end.

Neither side shot the ball particularly well, with SDSU recording a 35.7 field-goal percentage (25-70), compared to USD's 32.4 percent clip (22-68). However, the Aztecs got hot at just the right time, connecting on 14 of 32 shots in the second half, including a trio of timely 3-pointers by Clements.

The Aztecs led 8-5 following a Nahinu layup with four minutes elapsed in the first half before USD's Felicia Wijenberg and Alysse Barlow drained a pair of triples on consecutive possessions to put the host school up 11-8. SDSU kept things close, inching back in front by a 14-13 margin after Clements found daylight in the lane at the 13:21 mark.

However, the Aztec offense went into funk over the next 8:51, misfiring on 12 consecutive attempts from the floor and committing four turnovers during that stretch. In the interim, USD reeled off 12 straight points, capped by a Sophie Ederaine bucket. The dry spell finally ended with 4:30 remaining as another Nahinu layup sparked a 9-0 SDSU run. Clements added five straight points with a 3-pointer and a standard jumper, while Hopkins soon added two free throws, and all of a sudden, the Aztecs were back in business, trailing by just two at 25-23 with 2:02 to go.

Shortly thereafter, the Toreros' Amy Kame converted a layup and drained two foul shots, but Erimma Amarikwa dialed up from close range for SDSU with 15 seconds left to give the contest its 29-25 score at halftime.

USD nursed a 37-34 lead into the second stanza on a Barlow free throw with 12:13 remaining, until the Aztecs caught lightning in a bottle with a 13-2 blitz over the ensuing 5:02. Clements hit three clutch baskets during that span, including a 3-pointer, while Nahinu found the bottom of the net on two occasions to help put the Scarlet and Black up 47-39 by the 7:11 mark.

The Toreros refused to go quietly, however, as back-to-back layups by Kame and Maya Hood punctuated a 13-5 spurt that knotted the score at 52-52 with 1:22 to go. Clements, who finished with a 12-for-23 performance from the floor, made her final two points of the evening count with a crucial basket on the next possession to put the Aztecs up for good 54-52 with 51 seconds remaining.

SDSU got the ball back following a Kame miss at the other end and quickly extended its lead to four when Deajanae Scurry got an open look from the right baseline with 14 ticks on the clock. After Kame drove the lane and converted a basket on USD's next foray down the court, Hopkins was fouled and drained two free throws with eight seconds left to seal the hard-fought win.

The Toreros had three players finish in double figures, including Kame and Barlow, who notched 12 points apiece, while Hood tossed in 10 points of her own. In addition, Klara Wischer led all players with 15 rebounds.

The Aztecs will take a break for final exams before returning to action on Sunday, Dec. 16, when they travel to the central coast to battle Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.