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#AztecWBB Falls to NC State in Surf `N Slam Final

Danesha Long earned a spot on the Surf 'N Slam all-tournament team.
Danesha Long earned a spot on the Surf 'N Slam all-tournament team.

Dec. 30, 2013

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SAN DIEGO - Despite having four players produce double-digit scoring totals for the third game in a row, the San Diego State women's basketball team was unable to match the long-range firepower of North Carolina State, dropping an 84-67 decision in the championship final of the ninth annual San Diego Surf `N Slam Monday night at Viejas Arena.

Senior Cierra Warren (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and junior Khristina Hunter (Fairfield, Calif.) led the Aztecs with 14 points apiece, but it wasn't enough as the Wolfpack connected on 13-of-28 three-point field goals (46.4 percent) to win their seventh straight en route to the tournament title.

SDSU (3-7) also received 12 points from senior Danesha Long (Long Beach, Calif.), while sophomore Deajanae Scurry (Los Angeles, Calif.) notched 10 points of her own in the loss. Hunter, who shot 6-for-13 from the floor, pulled down five rebounds as well to tie Long and junior Chairese Culberson (Oakland, Calif.) for team-high honors.

Collectively, the Aztecs maintained a 30-24 rebounding advantage and outscored NC State, 46-33, in the paint. However, the Wolfpack (13-1) shot 54.5 percent from the field (30-55), including a crisp 61 percent (14-23) in the second half to break open a tight game at intermission. In addition, NC State converted 16 SDSU turnovers into 27 points and held a 9-2 advantage in fast-break opportunities to help fuel its win.

Tournament MVP Markeisha Gatling led the Wolfpack with 24 points on 9-of 12 shooting, while Myisha Goodwin-Coleman tallied 20 points, highlighted by a 6-for-13 effort on three-pointers, to go with five assists and a game-best four steals. Elsewhere, Kody Burke chipped in 14 points and five assists, while Len'Nique Brown registered 11 points and a game-high seven assists for the visitors.

NC State set the tone early, sinking four of its first six shots from downtown to build a 19-12 lead by the 11:52 mark of the first half. Yet the Aztecs stood their ground, fashioning an 11-0 surge over the next four-and-a-half minutes as a Hunter layup put the host school in front by a 23-19 count with 7:27 remaining in the period.

However, the Wolfpack promptly short-circuited SDSU's momentum after the Scarlet and Black misfired twice on the same possession. NC State made the Aztecs pay with a pair of three-balls courtesy of Ashley Williams and Brown during a 14-6 surge that put the Wolfpack back in front, 32-29, with 3:24 left. The Aztecs tied the score on two occasions, including a 34-34 deadlock following another Hunter basket with 1:20 left, before NC State reeled off seven straight points, capped by a Brown free throw. Then with just four seconds remaining, freshman Ariell Bostick (Oakland, Calif.) drove the length of the court and beat the horn with a layup to give the contest its 41-36 score at halftime.

SDSU was unable to draw any closer, however, as the Wolfpack engineered a sizeable 16-8 run over the first four-plus minutes of the second half, building a 57-44 bulge after another Goodwin-Coleman three-pointer at the 15:46 mark.

The Aztecs trimmed the deficit to eight on three occasions, including a 69-61 spread following a Warren layup with 6:15 left, but could only muster six points for the remainder of the contest. Conversely, Gatling scored eight points down the stretch, including a 4-for-4 clip from the free-throw line to help put the game out of reach for NC State.

San Diego State returns to the court on Thursday, Jan. 2, when it opens Mountain West play against Colorado State in Viejas Arena. Game time is set for 6 p.m. PT.

2013 San Diego Surf `N Slam All-Tournament Team
Danesha Long, San Diego State
Leticia Romero, Kansas State
Annelise Ito, UC Riverside
Myisha Goodwin-Coleman, NC State
Kody Burke, NC State

MVP: Markeisha Gatling, NC State