Gut-Check Time

by Staff

By Jared QuientSenior Staff Writer

After a six-game win streak that epitomized non-conference play,San Diego State has come back to earth recently, in the form of aseason-high three-game losing streak.

The streak that began with a home loss to Colorado State continuedwhen SDSU (11-11, 3-6 MWC) lost to No. 25 Utah 62-45 in front of 724at the Huntsman Center, Thursday.

It was a game that saw the Aztecs stay with Utah through the firsthalf, sparked by a 12-2 run at the beginning of the contest.

“Against Top-20 competition you’ve got to be able to play a40-minute game,” said Aztec head coach Barb Smith. “You can’t havelet-downs on the road. We played a great first half and we reallybelieved defense could win it for us. We needed to come out with thesame intensity in the second half but we just didn’t do that.”

After leading by two at the half, the Utes saw its lead grow andshrink in the early going. However, an 18-3 run by Utah quelled anyhopes of an Aztecs comeback.

Said Smith: “We’ve really struggled putting 40 minutes ofbasketball on the floor in the same game and that was our problemagain tonight.”

Sophomore Jamey Cox led all scorers with 16 points, including aseason-best four three-pointers.

MWC standings

Overall Conf. Utah Colorado State BYU New Mexico UNLV SDSU Wyoming Air Force 20-2 17-4 14-8 14-8 14-7 11-11 9-12 3-18 9-0 6-2 6-3 5-3 4-5 3-6 1-7 0-8

BYU on the rise

Since SDSU’s 63-61 upset of the Cougars, the teams have gone inpolar directions. The Aztecs have lost six of their last nine, andBYU is now the winner of three straight. The Cougars’ latest victorycame at the expense of SDSU.

Using a barrage of long range baskets, BYU jumped out to a19-point half-time lead en route to its 73-53 defeat of the Aztecs.The Cougars used four early 3-pointers to build a 21-4 run, settingthe tone for the rest of the contest.

“We didn’t play a very good first half tonight,” said SDSU headcoach Barb Smith. “We started to play better in the second half butby that time it was too late.”

BYU put any hope of a comeback to rest early in the second half,outscoring the Aztecs 13-2 to open the half, extending the lead to30.

The loss was SDSU’s third straight, marking its longest losingstreak of the season.

“This is our toughest road trip of the year,” Smith said. “Theyare two very tough places to play.”

Sophia Sledge led the Aztecs in scoring with 13 points.

SDSU returns home this week for its final home stand of theseason. The Aztecs will look to end its losing streak Thursdayagainst New Mexico.