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Women’s basketball advances to Mountain West Conference semis with overtime victory against New Mexico

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Women’s basketball advances to Mountain West Conference semis with overtime victory against New Mexico

Sophomore guard Naje Murray runs back on defense during the Aztecs 64-61 victory over Nevada on March 7 at Viejas Arena.

Sophomore guard Naje Murray runs back on defense during the Aztecs 64-61 victory over Nevada on March 7 at Viejas Arena.

Raymond Gorospe

Sophomore guard Naje Murray runs back on defense during the Aztecs 64-61 victory over Nevada on March 7 at Viejas Arena.

Raymond Gorospe

Raymond Gorospe

Sophomore guard Naje Murray runs back on defense during the Aztecs 64-61 victory over Nevada on March 7 at Viejas Arena.

by Tristi Rodriguez, Staff Writer

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With the season on the line and four seconds left, freshman guard Sophia Ramos drove to the basket and made a shot to send the San Diego State women’s basketball team to overtime on Monday night at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The No. 7 Aztecs momentum continued with them into the extra period, where they outscored the No. 2 Lobos 11-2, resulting in a 70-61 victory and a date with No. 3 Wyoming in the Mountain West Tournament semifinals on Tuesday.

A strong defensive effort by SDSU forced the Lobos to shoot for 30 percent from the field and 10 percent from the 3-point line.

Sophomore guard Najé Murray wasted no time in setting the pace for the Aztecs, finishing with 16 of the Aztecs’ 26 first half points after shooting 6-9 from the field and 4-6 from the 3-point line.

Despite Murray’s effort, New Mexico outscored SDSU in the first three quarters.

Lobos senior center Jaisa Nunn, who was recently named MW Player of the Year, proved the accolade correct by finishing with 24 points and 19 rebounds.

Head coach Stacie Terry told the Mountain West Network that she is pleased with the way her team handled Nunn and New Mexico’s post players.

“We did our best to make sure (Nunn) didn’t get anything easy,” Terry said. “Really proud of (junior forward Baylee Vanderdoes) and (freshman guard Mallory Adams) who did a good job containing their players.”

Even with Nunn’s numbers, SDSU still won the rebound war by out-rebounding the Lobos 59 to 44.

Adams and Vanderdoes combined for 30 rebounds total, finishing with 16 and 14, respectively.

Vanderdoes told the Mountain West Network that the victory was special.

“It felt great,” she said. “The past two years that we’ve been here we didn’t get past the first round. So this meant a lot to me and a lot of the upperclassmen.”

SDSU had six of its players collect at least five rebounds, finishing with a season-high 59 rebounds.

Terry said the effort on both sides of the court led to the team’s success.

“My pregame speech was talking about how special things happen in March,” she said. “And what it was going to take was commitment on both sides of the ball. And I thought we were committed to rebounding tonight more than we ever have.”

Murray had an eventful night, setting the new school record for made three-pointers in a season with 79, while leading the Aztecs with 22 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Murray was helped out on offense by Ramos and sophomore guard Téa Adams, with the trio combining for 60 points.

Ramos told the Mountain West Network that she is still taking it all in.

“It doesn’t feel real yet,” she said. “I think a lot of us thought we could do it. I just think a lot of our hard work has finally paid off.”

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