Three observations: Women’s basketball falls to Cal Baptist, 75-71, in home opener

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Kyle Betz

Junior guard Sophia Ramos prepares to fire a 3-point shot during the Aztecs 75-71 loss to Cal Baptist on Dec. 2 at Viejas Arena. Ramos led the Scarlet and Black with xx points, including xx makes from beyond the arc.

by Katelynn Robinson, Assistant News Editor

San Diego State women’s basketball lost 75-71 to Cal Baptist in its first home game of the 2020-21 season.

With the loss, the Aztecs fall to 1-2 after playing their first two games against Washington and Lamar.

Here are three observations from the game. 

1. Mercedes Staples gathers 10 rebounds for a career high

Junior guard Mercedes Staples said her coaches have been helping improve her rebounding game. 

“It’s good, I’ve been working on (rebounding),” Staples said. “Coach Marsha (Frese) has been getting on me about rebounding and she is still continuing yelling at me just to get those rebounds. I think I can improve on it more but it feels good to know I can actually do it.” 

Additionally, Staples contributed eight points — just one point away from her season high. 

Staples’ rebound average prior to transferring to SDSU from Minnesota was 1.1 rebounds per game. After three appearances in an Aztec uniform, her current rebound average is 7.7 rebounds per game.

2. Sophia Ramos scores 26 points

Junior guard Sophia Ramos helped SDSU close the gap several times against CBU. In the fourth quarter, Ramos scored 13 points and had a steal. 

“Our emphasis is always to finish the game,” Ramos said. “(Sophomore forward) Mallory (Adams) always calls ‘finish’ right after we break a huddle and in my head I just wanted to make sure we finished competing. Luckily those (the three pointers) fell.

“I mean, it’s just one of those you do what you can to stay in the game and I think that exactly was my mindset.”

Head coach Terry-Hudson said Ramos took some tough shots that kept the team in the game tonight.

“She is one of the leaders on our team and she definitely is not afraid of the moment, so she does a good job of trying to get us in a position to win night in and night out,” Terry-Hudson said.

3. Viejas Arena empty due to COVID-19 restrictions

With the exception of the media, no observers or fans are allowed to attend sporting events this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Viejas Arena stands were silent and empty during today’s game. 

Terry-Hudson said the team is getting used to playing in empty gyms.

“I thought our bench did a good job of trying to create that (crowd) energy,” Coach Terry-Hudson said. “But you know we are three games in now and we are getting used to an empty gym so it is just allowing us to focus on the basketball…we missed our home court but we understand that this is how it is going to have to be this year.”

Ramos said the atmosphere felt different without any fans in the arena, but it was great to be back at Viejas.

“I enjoyed being home but it’s definitely different because you don’t have the fans, you don’t have all the same stuff you usually do,” Ramos said. “So it’s definitely different. It’s nice because it is a lot like practice now, you’re not playing through a lot of noise anymore but it is also tough because you have to create your own energy.”

Today’s game was Staples’ first game at Viejas Arena. She said it felt good to finally play a collegiate game and added  the team had to bring their own energy onto the court. 

“I think we bring a lot more energy than we thought we could because we don’t have those fans with us,” Staples said.

Terry-Hudson said this year will be filled with uncertainties but the team is grateful to be able to compete. 

“This year is going to be challenging no matter where we go so we are just going to have to adjust and make the best of it and be grateful that we get to play,” Coach Terry-Hudson said.

Up next…

SDSU will compete on the road against the Colorado State Rams on Dec. 12. 

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