W. Hoops Loses to New Mexico in Mountain West Opener
Dec. 31, 2016
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -
San Diego State women’s basketball was unable to get past a hot New Mexico team and fell to the Lobos in the Aztecs’ Mountain West opener, 85-42, Saturday evening at WisePies Arena.
The loss ends the Aztecs’ longest win streak of the year at three games, and moves SDSU’s record to 5-7, 0-1 in conference play. New Mexico improves to 6-6 and has a 2-0 mark against Mountain West opponents.
Lexy Thorderson was the team’s top scorer with 11 points, her fifth game this year reaching double digits, to go alongside a season-high six rebounds. In just her third game in the Scarlet and Black, Khalia Lark added 10 points and a team-best seven rebounds.
The game started out as a fast-paced affair, with New Mexico firing on all cylinders. The Lobos were 12-for-20 from the floor and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line for a 31-15 lead after 10 minutes, with 10 of their points coming in transition. UNM held San Diego State to a 33.3 percent shooting clip (6-for-18) from the floor, and the Aztecs were 2-for-8 from beyond the arc.
The second quarter was even more unkind to the Aztecs, who, despite a made free throw by Thorderson 1:10 into the period, did not make a field goal until McKynzie Fort’s jumper at 2:37. SDSU’s only other basket of the frame was a good three as time expired in the half by Ariell Bostick. New Mexico, meanwhile, shot 8-for-14 (57.1 percent) for 20 points. The Scarlet and Black trailed the Lobos, 51-21, at the intermission.
The Aztecs were able to secure better defense and generate more offensive opportunities in the third quarter, led by freshman Monique Terry. Just over three minutes into the frame, Terry cashed in on a jumper from the free-throw line. She matched that with a baseline jumper 47 seconds later and, 29 seconds after that, made a jumper from the same spot for the 60-27 score at 5:42.
Less than a minute later, Thorderson stole the ball in New Mexico’s end and dished it to Fort, who raced it down for the uncontested layup at 4:40, making the score 60-29 with 4:11 to go in the frame. The teams traded good free throws for the 61-30 score with just over two minutes remaining on the clock, and New Mexico got a good layup with less than 30 seconds on the clock for the 63-30 score after the third quarter. The Aztecs allowed a game-low 12 points in the frame.
San Diego State’s continued to look promising in the fourth quarter. After an early three by New Mexico, Lark got a jumper from the top of the key after a steal by Terry. After a Lobo five-point run, Thorderson drilled a three of her own from the short corner with 7:30 to go in regulation for the 71-35 score.
The Aztecs were shut out from a field goal until Kymberly Ellison’s jumper at the right baseline at 4:45, making the score 78-38. Less than a minute later, Abby Lowe drove the basket and banked in the ball off the rim to get the Aztecs to 40 points and the 78-40 score. The Scarlet and Black’s final field goal of the game was by Thorderson with 59 seconds remaining in the contest.
For the game, SDSU shot a season-low 25.4 percent (17-for-67), and was 4-for-10 (40 percent) from the free-throw line, also a season low. UNM, meanwhile, shot 50 percent (31-for-62) and was 12-for-15 (80 percent) on free throws. San Diego State was assessed 18 fouls to New Mexico’s 11, and was out-rebounded, 51-34.
The Scarlet and Black makes its home Mountain West debut against Nevada on Weds., Jan 4 at 6:30 p.m.