Looking to bounce back after a 20-point loss on the road to Long Beach State, the San Diego State women’s basketball team was defeated in front of its home fans at Viejas Arena against UC Riverside, 85-68.
SDSU was looking to avenge last year’s 64-54 defeat against Riverside.
Unfortunately, the story remained the same from last game, and the Aztecs found themselves in an early hole right out of the gate.
UCR began capitalizing on every Aztec mistake, and picked their defense apart en route to an early 14-point lead.
Fortunately for the Aztecs, a last-second foul on Riverside put junior guard Ariell Bostick on the line for two free throws, and she was able to convert both, to cut the Highlander lead to 25-13 at the end of the first quarter.
Aside from the 14-point deficit, the Aztecs found themselves in foul trouble, as well.
Two of the Aztecs’ six team fouls in the first quarter were committed by starting junior forward Aleiah Brandon.
In the second quarter, it only got worse for SDSU.
UCR opened the quarter with a 10-0 run, and the Aztecs did not convert their first bucket of the quarter until sophomore guard Cheyenne Greenhouse drained two free throws with 4:55 left in the frame.
Going into the half, SDSU found themselves down 46-27.
SDSU head coach Stacie Terry spoke about how the team’s lethargic play in the first half put them in a bad spot for the rest of the game.
“We were just entirely too slow in the first half, and we just dug ourselves a hole,” Terry said.
Riverside shot 51 percent from the field in the first half, including 44 percent from 3-point land, and Highlander senior guard Akilah Ito had 15 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
The Aztecs, on the other hand, only were able to muster 17 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the arc.
One high note from the Aztecs in the first half was its free throws, as they were able to go 15-for-16 from the line.
SDSU looked to change its fortune, and find some consistent scoring in the second half.
However, the story was once again all the same.
The Aztecs found themselves in a scoring drought and scored their first points of the half three minutes in when Greenhouse once again converted two from the line.
SDSU’s defense valiantly tried to stop the Highlander attack, but continuous turnovers, as well as 3-point success from Riverside, kept pushing the Aztecs into a deeper deficit.
Trailing 69-43 heading into the final frame, the Aztecs put forth a last-ditch effort in the fourth quarter, outscoring Riverside 25-16.
It was too little too late, and the Aztecs fell for the second straight game 85-68.
Aside from the double-digit loss, Terry remained optimistic in her team and believed it will be able to pick it up after it adjusts to some new offensive and defensive tactics.
“There’s going to be a lot of growing pains over these next couple of days,” Terry said. “I told them to stay focused and don’t let doubt creep in because we’re going to be OK once we figure this thing out.”
Sophomore guard McKynzie Fort led the Aztecs in scoring. She notched 20 points, four rebounds and went 11-for-12 from the free throw line.
“I think I was just being more aggressive than I have been. Something I need to is show consistency throughout this season,” Fort said. “I feel like my teammates were able to give me the ball in good places this game.”
Fort talked about how the fourth quarter was a better reflection of this team’s ability, rather than what happened early on.
“I think we just need to play the whole game out,” Fort said. “What you saw in the fourth quarter is a team that we could be throughout the whole game.”
In the final moments of the game, SDSU had a scare when Bostick fell to the floor after a hard foul and was in serious pain, grabbing her knee.
Although Bostick was carried off the court, Terry feels she will be okay based on a pre-evaluation.
“We’ll have the doctor look at it tomorrow, we’ll go get all the tests run, but I don’t think it’s an ACL,” Terry said. “But it’s really premature.”
The Aztecs will face UC Davis at home this Thursday, Nov. 19.