Aztecs prepping for BYU showdown

by Eli Baldrige

The San Diego State women’s basketball team was looking for a turning point. SDSU was struggling in conference play and in no shape to defend its Mountain West Conference championship at the beginning of the month.

But after a string of victories, the Aztecs (12-13, 6-7 MWC) may have found their turning point last week.
“The New Mexico win was just huge and I’m really proud of that,” head coach Beth Burns said. “It was our third game in seven days, two of them on the road, and everyone was fatigued.”

The win at New Mexico last week was SDSU’s third straight. Since then, the Aztecs walloped Air Force at home, a team that beat them earlier in the year.
The four-game winning streak SDSU is carrying into its bye week is the second best active streak in the conference. The only longer streak is held by BYU (19-7, 11-1 MWC), which has won eight in a row.

The two hottest teams in the conference will face off in Provo, Utah on Saturday and Burns believes the battle will be a measuring stick for her team.

“(BYU) is the best team in the conference and it’s not even close,” Burns said. “They start four seniors and they are the best offensive team in the league and the best defensively too. We will have to play a great game and have them not play their best game, but we still have an opportunity to be successful.”

The bye week before the game will allow the Aztecs some much-needed rest. After a lot of traveling in prior weeks, senior star center Paris Johnson was struck with a deep leg bruise toward the end of the Air Force game.  The rest will also allow SDSU more time to prepare for the first-place Cougars.

“We’ll have plenty of time to prepare,” Burns said. “It’s just a matter of if we can get it done.”