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

Women’s basketball grits their way to a tough, well-earned 67-63 win at USD

Despite injuries and illness, the Aztecs won their second straight against the Toreros
Chinedu Nwoffiah
San Diego State forward Adryana Quezada battles up a shot over the defense of University of San Diego forward Courtney Wristen and another Torero on Thursday, Dec. 7 at Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Aztecs defeated the Toreros 67-63, winning their second straight game in the crosstown series.

The crosstown series between the San Diego State women’s basketball team and University of San Diego hadn’t seen a game come down to the final minute since 2018.

So, after having played to overtime in two of their last three games, the Aztecs were ready for the moment to knock off the Toreros 67-63 on Thursday night at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

“I’m really, really proud,” said head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson.

“This was the epitome of a team win. We’re sick, we’re hurt… I just thought we really battled tonight (against) a USD team that’s so tough.”

Freshman guard Alyssa Jackson was a starter for the first time in her collegiate career, in place of senior Sarah Barcello who was not with the team, and promptly set career-highs of 8 points in 31 minutes.

Jackson also earned the task of shutting down USD’s leading scorer down the stretch — sophomore guard Veronica Sheffey, who also set a career-high of 23 points — and held her scoreless in the final quarter.

In a game that bounced between a 9-point lead for SDSU (6-4) at the 4:48 mark of the first quarter, to a 7-point lead for USD (3-6) with 46 seconds played in the third quarter, the Aztecs’ combination of experience and grit didn’t allow the game to get away from them.

Guard Abby Prohaska was under the weather, but you wouldn’t have known it from her play. She bulldogged her way to 13 points, with six points coming in the critical third quarter while SDSU battled back from a deficit.

In a game that featured high physicality and more than a few bumps and bruises battling for loose balls, the Scarlet and Black gave just a little more. Whether it was the five drawn charges, whether it was the advantages on the offensive glass and second-chance points despite being outsized, SDSU’s sharper ‘edge’ made a difference.

Nowhere was that more apparent than a pair of fourth quarter possessions. Senior guard/forward Khylee Pepe first made a trio of moves to score an up-and-under bucket in the paint at the 5:41 mark, then on the next one, she dove for a loose ball in the right corner and spiked it out of bounds off a USD defender.

Senior forward Kim Villalobos came alive in the final frame when needed most, scoring 7 of her 9 points in the fourth quarter. She also led the team with 5 assists.

It was the kind of game where the Aztecs needed everyone on hand to earn the result.

“I had two walk-ons in (guards, sophomore Natalija Grizelj and freshman Ellie Chen saw time) and I thought they held their own and gave even effort so I was able to sub,” Terry-Hutson said.

SDSU was led by 18 points and 9 rebounds by senior Adryana Quezada, who scored the bulk of her points in the first half, then made key free-throws down the stretch to clinch the result.

It was the second straight win for the Aztecs against USD, something the team hadn’t accomplished with Terry-Hutson as head coach. SDSU now holds a 32-15 edge in the crosstown series, which has been played every season since 2002.

It also was the final time the Aztecs will play a game in America’s Finest City until Saturday, Dec. 30, when they open conference play against preseason Mountain West No. 2 Colorado State, who is currently unblemished at 7-0.

“These girls played really, really hard, and we still have a long way to go, but we’re just trying to get healthy and get better every time we’re together,” Terry-Hutson said.

SDSU will travel to face Seattle University on Monday, Dec. 11 at 11 a.m. before taking part in the West Palm Beach Classic.

The Aztecs will face Kennesaw State and Florida Atlantic in the event, hosted by Division II Palm Beach Atlantic University, in Florida on Dec. 20 and 21.

About the Contributors
Eric Evelhoch
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.
Chinedu Nwoffiah, Photographer
Chinedu Nwoffiah (he/him/his) is a fourth-year Communication major specializing in Digital & Social Media Studies. He has always had a passion for sports and storytelling and has been able to enhance his skills throughout his time at The Daily Aztec. Since joining in 2023, he has covered nearly every sport through photography and contributed as a writer, broadcaster, and multimedia specialist for men’s basketball.