W. Hoops Set for Midweek Matinee vs. Fresno State
Feb. 6, 2018
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego State women's basketball team opens a two-game homestand this week, beginning with a special midweek matinee vs. Fresno State on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at Steve Fisher Court. Tip time is set for noon PT.
No video stream will be available for the Aztecs-Bulldogs showdown; however, SDSU alumnus Chris Ello will call the action courtside for a live audio webcast on GoAztecs.com.
Wednesday's encounter will mark SDSU's second Field Trip Day of the season with a free Aztec lunch bag to be given away to the first 2,000 students in eighth grade or below. In addition, the Viejas Arena concourse will open at 11 a.m. with numerous educational activities available, including math and science stations.
SDSU suffered its third straight defeat in a 61-51 road loss to Air Force on Feb. 3. Clinging to a 49-47 lead entering the fourth quarter, the Aztecs were outscored 14-2 over the final 10 minutes en route to their first loss at the Academy since 2011.
Individually, SDSU was led by senior McKynzie Fort, who poured in a game-high 20 points to go with a team-best eight rebounds, while fellow classmate Khalia Lark tallied all 10 of her points in the second quarter.
Reaching the 20-point barrier for the 21st time in her career, Fort crept closer to third place on the Aztecs' all-time scoring list. The Fontana, Calif., native has amassed 1,573 points in a Scarlet and Black uniform and needs just 26 more to surpass current SDSU player of development Paris Johnson for the No. 3 spot in program history.
Entering Wednesday's contest, Fort occupies the second spot in the Mountain West with an average of 17.0 points for all games and ranks seventh in field-goal percentage (.485) and ninth in assists (3.6/gm). In addition, senior Geena Gomez (9.7 ppg) is sixth in assists (4.0/gm) and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4), while freshman Najé Murray (9.3 ppg) remains in the eighth spot in three-point accuracy (.380) and ranks 10th in triples made (1.8/gm).
Collectively, the Aztecs are slotted fourth in the MW this week in three-pointers made (7.1/gm) while ranking fifth in rebounding offense (37.6/gm), rebounding defense (37.5/gm) and rebounding margin (+0.0).
As a team, SDSU is averaging 65.1 points per game while yielding 68.2 on the defensive side of the ball. In addition, the Scarlet and Black is shooting 39.5 percent from the floor and 33.6 percent from three-point territory.
Wednesday's encounter will mark the 46th varsity meeting between the two schools, with SDSU maintaining an 26-19 advantage in the all-time series.
However, the Aztecs have lost seven of their last eight against the Bulldogs, including a 64-53 setback in Fresno on Jan. 17. SDSU received 20 points from McKynzie Fort in that contest, but shot just 31.3 percent from the field in the second half after trailing by just two at intermission, 27-25.
The Aztecs are 13-7 vs. Fresno State in San Diego, but are just 1-4 against the Bulldogs at Steve Fisher Court since 2013. SDSU's lone victory in that span occurred on Feb. 10, 2016, when the Scarlet and Black registered a 65-54 triumph in overtime, outscoring the visitors 19-8 in the second extra session.
Since Fresno State joined the Mountain West in time for the 2012-13 season, the Aztecs are 3-9 against the Bulldogs during that stretch.
As Western Athletic Conference rivals, the two sides met on 17 occasions from 1993-1999, with SDSU owning a 13-3 advantage. The two schools were also former adversaries in the Big West Conference, engaging one another nine times from 1987-90, as the Aztecs posted a 5-4 mark during that span.
Fresno State (13-10, 8-4 MW) put the finishing touches on a 3-0 homestand with a 60-47 triumph over Wyoming on Feb. 3. The Bulldogs also posted a 64-48 decision over Air Force (Jan. 29) and a 68-55 conquest of Nevada (Jan. 31) during that stretch.
With the results, Fresno State has won seven of its last 10 games, entering the week in a tie for second place with Colorado State in the Mountain West standings. The Bulldogs and Rams remain two games in the loss-column behind first-place Wyoming (8-2).
Fresno State and SDSU faced two common opponents during their respective non-conference schedules. The Bulldogs came away with a 64-57 victory at UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 30, before falling short by an 85-72 count at CSUN on Dec. 2.
Offensively, Fresno State is paced by junior Candice White, who received all-Mountain West honorable mention in 2017. The 5-8 guard tops the conference in scoring with an average of 17.2 points per game and has converted a league-best 96.8 percent of her free throws (90-93), which ranks second in the nation. White also finds herself among the MW leaders in three-pointers made (T-7th, 2.0/gm (46 overall)), rebounds (T-9th) and steals (11th, 1.4/gm).
In addition, the Bulldogs have received a sizable contribution from freshman forward Maddi Utti (9.5 ppg), who ranks second in the conference in field-goal percentage (.584 (97-166)) and ninth in steals (1.4/gm), while fellow classmate Aly Gamez (9.1 ppg) occupies the sixth spot in three-point accuracy (.429 (30-70)) and the seventh position in steals (1.5/gm).
Collectively, Fresno State ranks second in the MW in three-point field-goal percentage (.349), three-point field-goal defense (.263), free-throw percentage (.756) and steals (8.1/gm).
The Bulldogs occupy the fifth spot in the conference in scoring defense (65.8 ppg), field-goal percentage defense (.402), turnover margin (+0.3) and assists (13.3/gm).
However, Fresno State is just sixth in scoring offense (64.9 ppg) and field-goal percentage (.398) while ranking eighth in rebounding (34.8/gm) and 10th in rebounding margin (-5.7).
Following Wednesday's encounter, San Diego State remains on The Mesa to lock horns with Nevada on Saturday, Feb. 10, marking the Aztecs' annual Play4Kay Game to highlight breast cancer awareness. Opening tip is set for 1 p.m. PT.