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Aztec Basketball Claims Surf `N Slam Title With A 66-55 Win Over Auburn

Paris Johnson had a team-best 18 points to go with nine rebounds vs. Auburn.
Paris Johnson had a team-best 18 points to go with nine rebounds vs. Auburn.

Dec. 30, 2009

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's basketball team shot 52.1 percent from the field and had four players score in double-figures to claim its second consecutive Surf `N Slam title with a 66-55 victory over Auburn Wednesday night at Viejas Arena. With the win, SDSU, which defeated No. 4 Texas for the same tournament championship in 2008, improved to 8-4 overall, while the Tigers dropped to 9-4 on the year following the two schools' first-ever meeting.

"To beat an ACC and an SEC team in back-to-back games, when you need to be gaining momentum heading toward conference play, speaks volumes (about our team)," Aztec head coach Beth Burns said. "Our entire program has grown (since Thanksgiving). We have rolled up our sleeves and we went to work. We've made big steps."

Four of the Aztecs' five starters finished in double-figure scoring, led by junior Paris Johnson (San Diego, Calif.), who was one rebound short of a double-double with a game-high 18 points and nine rebounds. Senior Quenese Davis (Sacramento, Calif.) was named the tournament MVP with her 16 points, six rebounds, four steals and five assists in 38 minutes.

SDSU junior Jessika Bradley (Sacramento, Calif.) tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots, while classmate Coco Davis (Sacramento, Calif.) added a season-best 10 points, including both of the team's 3-pointers. Senior Jené Morris (San Francisco, Calif.), who had 18 points in Monday's contest with Wake Forest, joined Johnson and Quenese Davis on the six-player all-tournament squad.

After having to rally from nine-point deficits in each of their last two outings, the Aztecs kept it close the entire first half, falling behind by as many as four points on nine occasions, but retaking the lead at the 2:49 mark at 27-26 on a Bradley jumper. That basket kick started a 6-2 run which put the host up 31-28 heading into the locker room.

SDSU continued that momentum after the break, pushing out to a double-figure lead less than four minutes into the second half and eventually went up by as many as 15 points at 44-29. Auburn, however, fought back with a scoring run of its own, getting to within six points three times, including as late as the 8:09 mark.

Back-to-back baskets in the paint pushed the Aztecs back in front by double-figures and the team outscored Auburn 6-2 in the final 1:33 to pull out the 66-55 victory.

The Aztecs shot above 50 percent from the field (25-for-48) for the third consecutive outing and owned a +5 margin on the glass. Auburn had just nine turnovers, but was 0-for-11 from beyond the arc and ended the night with a 34.3 field-goal percentage.

The Tigers were led by Jordan Greenleaf's 15 points, while KeKe Carrier had nine points and nine rebounds.

San Diego State will now begin preparation for the 2010 Mountain West Conference campaign, which starts on Wed., Jan. 6, when the Aztecs travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to take on the New Mexico Lobos, beginning at 7 p.m. MST.

2009 San Diego Surf `N Slam
Consolation:
Wake Forest 52, Valparaiso 34
Championship: San Diego State 66, Auburn 55

All-Tournament Team
MVP - Quenese Davis, SDSU
Paris Johnson, SDSU
Jene' Morris, SDSU
Jordan Greenleaf, Auburn
KeKe Carrier, Auburn
Brittany Waters, Wake Forest