Women’s basketball releases updated 2020-21 season schedule

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Then-junior guard Téa Adams signals a play to her teammates during the Aztecs’ 55-45 win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17, 2019 at Viejas Arena.

by Reese Savoie, Senior Staff Writer

San Diego State announced its schedule for the upcoming 2020-21 season Tuesday afternoon. 

In a year as strange as this one, it’s no surprise the upcoming season will differ from the norm. The 2020-21 Mountain West campaign will run four weeks shorter than usual, totaling up to 10 series. Each team will have five series on their home court and five on the road. 

Over the span of a week, teams will face off against one another in a short, two-game series with one day of rest between each matchup. 

Junior guard Sophia Ramos recognizes the physical and mental challenges that this modified schedule presents. 

“I think it’s going to be tough,” Ramos said. “20 games is a lot, no matter what, and that’s a small span of time we’re getting them all in, especially on a one-day break.” 

“I think it’s going to be really important to focus more on scouting and taking advantage of the recovery time we’re given, just because it is going to be a wear and tear on our bodies from travelling. Going into one game, taking the one (day) break and jumping into the next,” she added.  

However, despite these difficulties, Ramos says that the schedule gives the team a unique opportunity to bond. 

“It’ll be fun,” she said. “It’ll allow us to somewhat enjoy the road trips that we’re given and find other ways to make memories with our teammates.” 

The Mountain West’s decision to shorten the upcoming season is something head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson said she appreciates given the circumstances that have come about as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

“It is what it is. I think it is a great call by our conference to try to keep us as safe as we possibly can and get the most amount of games in as we can,” she said. “Limiting the travel, playing at Colorado State for two games and not doing the home-and-home I think will help that.” 

“I think it is the right call to do with all the stories going on in our country, and we want to make sure our student-athletes’ health is our first priority,” Terry-Hutson added. 

SDSU will tip off its season with non-conference action. The Aztecs will partake in the South Point Thanksgiving Classic beginning on Nov. 25 against University of Washington in Las Vegas. The Scarlet and Black will play again Nov. 27 against Lamar University to finish up the tournament. 

Terry-Huston says she’s looking forward to the opportunity to play a Pac-12 opponent like University of Washington. 

“I’m always excited for us to have opportunities to play teams in the Power 5 conference,” she said. “The Pac-12 has done such a great job bringing national recognition to the conference, so any time we can play anybody, we see where we measure up. I think it’s a great challenge for us.” 

Senior guard Téa Adams, who is originally from Washington, is also excited to face off against the Huskies. 

“The fact that we even get an opportunity to play (UW) is amazing,” she said. “We love playing Pac-12 teams. We love stepping up to the challenge, so (sophomore guard Isabella Hernandez) and I are both looking forward to that.” 

Non-conference play will continue at home on Dec. 2 in a matchup against California Baptist University. 

SDSU will then travel west to take on crosstown-rival USD on Dec. 5. 

Terry-Hutson believes the non-conference schedule will provide the team with important leverage heading into conference play. 

“(The director of basketball operations) did a great job balancing the competitive games, some really challenging games so we can prepare for the conference,” Terry-Hutson said. “I think with our schedule, where it stands right now, we’re going to be looking forward to going into the Mountain West Conference games having some experience under our belt,” she added.  

The modified conference schedule will begin on Dec. 8, with the Aztecs taking on Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo. They will play the Rams again on Dec. 10 to end the series. 

Adams says playing two games (as opposed to one) at a high elevation state like Colorado will be difficult, but is a challenge that the team is ready to tackle.

“It’s going to be challenging, I’m not going to lie. When we found that out, we were like, ‘We’ve got some tough games ahead,’” Adams said. “But we’ve played at all those places before and we know what it’s like. 

“It’s just another challenge that has been added to our list this year, and we’re not going to back down.”

SDSU will return home to host three non-conference games over the next three weeks. The Aztecs will take on Saint Katherine (Dec. 13), UC Irvine (Dec. 19) and Cal Poly (Dec. 21). 

Ramos says she’s excited for the opportunity presented by the non-conference schedule to get some time playing on their home court. 

“I was thrilled that we have so many home games,” Ramos said. “I think that is going to be a lot of help, especially since we get the time to practice in Viejas.” 

However, with the continuation of the pandemic comes a lack of fan attendance. 

“It is going to be different with no fans,” Ramos said. “There’s a lot of adjusting for everyone.” 

SDSU will resume conference play against UNLV at Viejas on Dec. 31 and Jan. 2. The Scarlet and Black head to Reno the following week, trading the Rebels for the Wolf Pack in another California versus Nevada competition. 

The next two series will take place on the Aztecs’ home court. SDSU will host a series against Utah State (Jan. 14 and Jan. 16) and Air Force (Jan. 22 and Jan. 24). 

These series will be the only two-week consecutive at-home matchups. 

The Aztecs will finish up January play in Wyoming (Jan. 28 and Jan. 30), and will kick off February with a series against the Lobos at Viejas (Feb. 3 and Feb. 5). 

The next two weeks will include a trip to San José State to take on the Spartans (Feb. 18 and Feb. 20) and a home series versus Boise State (Feb. 24 and Feb. 26). 

The women’s basketball Mountain West Championships will occur at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on March 7-10.

This story was updated on Nov. 23 at 4:34 p.m. with quotes from Téa Adams and Sophia Ramos.

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