Aztecs run away from Cowgirls and into finals

by Antonio Morales

Antonio Zaragoza, Photo EditorLAS VEGAS– Every game is a big game for the San Diego State women’s basketball team at this point of the season. There’s a common saying in sports that big time players make big time plays in big time games.

SDSU got its big time performance in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament from junior point guard Chelsea Hopkins in a 73-55 win against the Wyoming Cowgirls on Friday to advance to the tournament’s title game.

Whether it was scoring, setting up teammates on offense, stealing the ball or blocking shots on defense, Hopkins excelled at it.

The Las Vegas native scored 16 points, dished out 10 assists, grabbed four rebounds, stole the ball five times and blocked a shot

“I was just trying to do whatever it takes to win,” Hopkins said after the game. “I wanted to be aggressive and limit my turnovers. I knew that when I got the opportunity, I needed to be aggressive and I needed to create opportunities for Courtney Clements and Kalena Tutt and that’s basically what I did.”

Even though the Aztecs won by 18 points, the game was more competitive than the score indicates.

SDSU only led by three points with 13:53 left in the game before making a couple of plays to separate itself from.

MW Player of the Year junior forward Courtney Clements scored 12 of her game-high 22 points in the second half to help the Aztecs pull away.

While Hopkins and Clements may be the most recognizable players on the team, senior Kalena Tutt went 5-for-5 from the field, scored 10 points and recorded three rebounds.

The senior, who was on the team the last time the SDSU won the tournament, is excited to be back in the championship game.

“To be back in the championship means a lot,” Tutt said. “Last year, we had a fluke kind of a season. So to come back to the championship, where San Diego State belongs, is pretty good.”

The team will play New Mexico in the MW Tournament championship game at 1:05 p.m. tomorrow at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.