San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

SDSU defense delivers rally past New Mexico, fast starts on offense wipe out Wyoming

Avinger’s 21 points key comeback in front of the largest crowd of the season at Viejas Arena, then Aztecs snap multi-season losing streak at Wyoming.
Petrina Tran
Sophomore Asia Avinger eyes her defensive assignment in a game versus Sacramento State on Dec. 17, 2022.

Faced with a heavy rain from the Mountain West’s top three-point shooting team, the San Diego State women’s basketball determination on defense was even stronger.

The Aztecs rallied from a 13-point second half deficit to upend the New Mexico Lobos 65-61 before the largest home crowd of the season on Thursday afternoon at Viejas Arena.

Sophomore guard Asia Avinger scored 14 of her game-high 21 points, while the SDSU defense forced 11 turnovers and shut down the opposing shooters in the second half.

“We just had to look to each other and trust in one another,” Avinger said. “We changed the game plan, and everyone was really gritty about it and that’s what got us the win.”

San Diego State spent much of the game chasing, as New Mexico knocked down 11 shots from beyond the arc. The Lobos had already made eight three-pointers when Avinger netted the Aztecs’ first triple of the game at the 3:24 mark of the third quarter.

Trailing by nine at halftime, San Diego State switched up their defensive scheme. It limited the Lobos to one make over their last nine shots and a scoreless last 4:25 of the third quarter. Then in the fourth, the visitors made one of their last six and did not score in the final 4:02.

“I was really impressed with their focus,” head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson said. “They all locked in and helped take away some of those easy looks they were getting in the first half.”

In addition to leading the team in scoring for the third time in conference play, Avinger also recorded a game-high four steals and tied senior guard Abby Prohaska with an Aztec-best four assists.

“I’m not necessarily looking for the shots for me, I’m just looking to get my teammates involved, but if I have an open shot I’m going to take it,” Avinger said.

Senior guard Sophia Ramos added 15 points on a tough shooting afternoon but made a key three-pointer to tie the game at 59-59 in the fourth quarter. Off the bench, senior guard Mercedes Staples played 25 minutes in her second game back from injury with five points and a game-best +16 scoring differential while on the floor.

“We’re at our best when we’re able to get stops and get out in transition, I think that fueled us in the second half,” Terry-Hutson said.

The official attendance of 4,150 in the stands played a role too, as the field trip day crowd was the soundtrack to the comeback.

“The energy was crazy,” Avinger said. “It added to the energy on the court and encouraged us the most.”

The last time San Diego State rallied from a 13-point deficit in the final 20 minutes was on March 11, 2019 against New Mexico in the Mountain West Conference quarterfinal.

On Saturday, the Aztecs used fast starts in both the first and third quarters to outpace the Wyoming Cowgirls in a 73-66 win at Arena-Auditorium.

Senior Yummy Morris scored 12 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, while Avinger’s 13 points led SDSU (16-5, 6-2) in scoring. Ramos, Staples and junior Kim Villalobos also notched ten points apiece.

It was the first win for San Diego State in Laramie since the 2015-16 season, snapping a seven-game slide at 7,220 feet.

The Aztecs return to the Mesa to host Fresno State at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26 at Viejas Arena.

“The resiliency, the mental toughness that this team is showing is really impressive,” Terry-Hutson said.

About the Contributors
Eric Evelhoch, '23-24 Sports Editor
Eric Evelhoch (he/him/his) is a senior media studies major who was born outside of Detroit, Michigan, and lived in Ventura County, California, for a decade-plus. He is a returning college student and transfer from Santa Barbara City College, where he served as Sports Editor for The Channels. Evelhoch is also a Sports Director for KCR College Radio, where he restarted play-by-play coverage post-pandemic. Currently, he serves as the play-by-play broadcaster for the SDSU ACHA DI hockey team and has filled in on the call for Aztecs sports on the Mountain West Network. His prior freelance experience includes print, digital, online video and audio-only, and broadcast radio formats covering football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer and volleyball.
Petrina Tran, Photographer
Petrina Tran is a fourth-year transfer from Grossmont College. She was born in San Jose, CA, but grew up in Dubai, UAE for 12 years before returning to the United States for university. Majoring in Journalism with a minor in Linguistics, Petrina has a passion for storytelling through photography, connecting with people, and being in the community. She currently serves as Social Media Outreach officer for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and photographs for the Daily Aztec. This year, she hopes to expand into writing as well. Outside of the Daily Aztec, Petrina enjoys flying, music, reading, and experiencing different languages and cultures. She is excited to learn, grow, and be challenged while serving both the school and the greater San Diego community.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
SDSU defense delivers rally past New Mexico, fast starts on offense wipe out Wyoming