Women’s Basketball looking to climb to the top of the Mountain West

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Jason Freund

Junior Isabella Hernandez (10) drives against an Air Force defender last season.

by Jayden Hanzy, Staff Writer

Following a disappointing 2020-2021 season, the San Diego State women’s basketball team is looking primed and prepped to make a big splash this season. 

The Aztecs finished seventh in the Mountain West Conference last season, but have brought back most of their talent from last year and have brought in new pieces that should contribute to their success this year. 

During last season’s “COVID Year,” the Scarlet and Black found it difficult to find their groove. SDSU took on tough opponents and were able to gain experience through their difficult schedule. The Aztecs finished  7-17 while finishing 5-12 against Mountain West Conference opponents. 

During the Oct. 13 Mountain West Conference Media Day, head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson was more excited than ever about her team as she enters her ninth season as the Aztecs head coach. 

“They know what we are doing, they know what is going to be asked of them, and we have pushed them harder than they ever have been” Terry-Hutson said about players returning this year. “We have a level of expectations that has been raised and we are definitely doing everything we can to get better, and ultimately win a Mountain West championship.” 

This year the Scarlet and Black have made major strides when it comes to the quality of their players. Through consistent hard work this offseason, both returners and new players have developed expeditiously.

“It’s been really nice. We can go deep into our roster which allows our guards to get some rest and we won’t lose much as we sub,” Terry-Hutson said about the team’s depth.“We have a great deep team this year so I’m excited to see how that helps us move forward.”

Senior Sophia Ramos said she is once again looking to be the catalyst for the team’s success. During the 2020-2021 season, Ramos averaged 15.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Ramos has received high praise from her head coach and has the potential to carry her team to a Mountain West championship.

“I am just going to be a leader. I have so much experience in playing basketball all around, and playing under coach Stacie for these last three years and having a relationship with her there is a good level of trust between us,” Ramos said about her role on the team. “My big thing this year is just to be a leader and a coach on the court for us.” 

On a team with five seniors, leadership will be crucial on the court. SDSU has potential throughout their roster, and the experience that the returners were able to gain last season will be key for the team this year. 

Perhaps one of the biggest players to keep an eye on this year will be freshman Asia Avinger. Avinger won honors this year for Mountain West preseason freshman of the year. Avinger — fresh out of high school — is already putting the conference on notice and is becoming a key piece for the team.

Ramos and Avinger are just two of the threats on SDSU’s deep roster. With their exceptional depth and wealth of experience, expect the Aztecs to have a bounce-back year and become one of the biggest competitors in the Mountain West.

In a few weeks, the Scarlet and Black are set to play the Biola University Eagles in an exhibition match that will kick off the season. The game on Nov. 1 will be the team’s first game in the Viejas Arena this season and the commencement of another exciting schedule. 

Outside of their conference, the Aztecs take on some strong competition such as Ohio State, University of San Diego, and Ole Miss.

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