Women's Hoops Opens Surf `N Slam With 57-29 Win Over UNCG
Dec. 28, 2011
The San Diego State women's basketball team cruised to an easy 57-29 victory over visiting UNCG on Wednesday in the opening game of the San Diego Surf `N Slam Classic at Viejas Arena. The win was Beth Burns' 250th in her 15 overall seasons as head coach at SDSU and improved the squad to 7-4 this year. The Spartans, meanwhile, dropped to 2-9 after failing to reach the 30-point barrier for the first time in 2011-12.
"Defense was our focus when we got back from break," Burns said. "We worked on doing some things defensively to help us offensively and I thought we really improved on that side of the ball. The positives (today) were that we guarded well and stuck to the details that we wanted to. We had great push and great transition, but we just came up empty a little bit (on offense). Those are the things we're going to continue to work on before we open up Mountain West play."
San Diego State had three starters tally double-figure points, including sophomore Kiyana Stamps (Moreno Valley, Calif.), who made a career-high four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points to go with five offensive rebounds in only 25 minutes.
"Kiyana has been a real difference maker for us," Burns said. "She's our best on-ball defender and she understands our system because she's been here for a while. We're all happy that she's finally getting an opportunity. She's a really good player and will hopefully continue to develop."
Aztec junior Courtney Clements (Long Beach, Calif.) recovered from a slow start shooting to register her 11th double-figure scoring outing of the year with 13 points, while classmate Malia Nahinu (Hayward, Calif.) was 5-for-8 from the field for 11 points to go with career highs in rebounds (9), blocks (5) and steals (3). Junior point guard Chelsea Hopkins (Las Vegas, Nev.) also had a solid outing with a team season-high 10 rebounds as well as nine assists and three steals.
San Diego State never trailed in the game, jumping ahead 8-0 with points by four different players. UNCG finally got on the scoreboard at the 16:13 mark on a jumper from Janae Stevenson, but the Aztecs responded with a 7-1 run to increase the advantage out to 12. The host went up by as many as 18 points before heading into the break in front 26-11, as the Spartans finally crossed into double-figures with just under two minutes remaining.
Stamps, who notched only three first-half points, found her shooting rhythm coming out of the locker room with a pair of triples and two free throws in less than three minutes. Neither side had a field goal for the next four minutes until Nahinu broke through with a jumper at the 13:01 mark. After a brief 3-0 run by the Spartans, Stamps hit another triple to spark a 12-2 run to put the host squad in front by 20 at 49-20. The Aztecs led by as many as 30 points before coming out with the 57-59 victory.
San Diego State held UNCG to just 24.5 percent shooting, including only five first-half field goals. The Aztecs owned a plus-11 advantage on the glass and committed a season-low 12 turnovers.
UNCG was led by Nneka Awuruonye's eight points, while Stevenson had eight rebounds.
The Spartans return to Viejas Arena on Thursday for a game against the tournament's third team, Penn. San Diego State, meanwhile, returns to action Friday when it seeks its third Surf `N Slam title in the finale against the Quakers. Both contests are slated to begin at 2 p.m. PT.