Women’s basketball fails to keep up with New Mexico’s explosive offense

Junior+forward+Ivvana+Murillo+drives+towards+the+basket+during+the+Aztecs+84-48+loss+to+New+Mexico+on+Feb.+3+at+Viejas+Arena.

Luis Lopez

Junior forward Ivvana Murillo drives towards the basket during the Aztecs’ 84-48 loss to New Mexico on Feb. 3 at Viejas Arena.

by Andrew Finley, Staff Writer

After a promising first-half performance, San Diego State women’s basketball was unable to contain a high-powered New Mexico team in the second half, losing 84-48 to the Lobos on Feb. 3 at Viejas Arena.

 The Aztecs (5-11, 3-7 Mountain West Conference) led by as many as seven points in the second quarter and went into halftime with the lead, allowing just 26 points to the Lobos (8-2, 5-2 MWC) in the first half. Head coach Stacie Terry-Huston said it was all part of the game plan. 

“We did a really good job controlling the tempo,” Terry-Hutson said. “We talked a lot about using the length of the shot clock because we know they like to play fast. 

“Going into halftime, that was exactly what we were trying to do.”

 New Mexico entered the game scoring 85.4 points per game and a strong first half had the Scarlet and Black poised to lower that average, but New Mexico had other plans.

The Lobos would go on to outscore their entire first half performance, exploding for 36 points in the third quarter while the Aztecs were only able to put up 10. New Mexico had five drives of five or more points — including a 10-point run to start the half — and outscored San Diego State 58-21 in the second half. Junior guard Mercedes Staples, who led the Aztecs with 11 points and five rebounds, said the eruption of points was from a lack of execution. 

“I think they played how they usually would play,” Staples said of New Mexico’s game plan. “They played their game and we just fell away from ours.” 

New Mexico sank 13 of its 30 (43%) 3-point shots and made 10 of its 15 (67%) 3-point attempts in the second half alone. Even if New Mexico hadn’t made a 3-pointer in the second half they would have outscored San Diego State 28-21. Terry-Hutson said her team could have put more pride in its defense. 

“San Diego State — especially our men’s program — is known to be a defensive team,“ Terry-Hutson said. “We need to take some notes from them and take care of that side of the ball.

“I think we’re a little more focused on who’s scoring and how we can score. When we find five that can get down in a stance and care more about the defensive end, we’ll turn a corner.” 

Improving the defense has become a priority for both Terry-Hutson and her players. Staples said they focused on that during practice this week and it’ll continue to be a focal point moving onto Fridays matchup against the Lobos. 

“Just being able to defend and be able to get stops so we can run our offense and get the shots we want,” Staples said.

Staples led the team in points and rebounds, followed by freshman forward Kim Villalobos who scored 10 points in the first half with four rebounds. Junior forward Kiara Edwards scored nine points with three rebounds of her own. 

Up next…

The Aztecs look to rebound against the Lobos at the Viejas Arena on Friday Feb. 3.

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