Women’s basketball handed 4th straight loss by Washington

by Brandon Truffa, Staff Writer

On Tuesday night, the San Diego State women’s basketball team made the trip up north to Seattle to take on Pac-12 member University of Washington and was defeated 80-51.

The Aztecs sought to steal their first win of the season away from an undefeated Husky team, which has won every game by double digits and dropped 100 points on Santa Clara University earlier this season.

Aztecs’ redshirt-junior forward Aleiah Brandon hit a 3-pointer to take a 3-0 lead in the first minute of the game.

This would be the largest lead the Aztecs would maintain  before Washington went to work. Turnovers prevented SDSU from creating any sort of fight against the Huskies in the first half.

In the first quarter alone, the Aztecs had six. Four of those came in the first five minutes of the contest.

Washington shot 8-of-12 in the first quarter and out-rebounded the Aztecs 6-4, ultimately holding an eight-point lead at 21-13.

The second quarter saw the Aztecs’ cold shooting become frostbite early on.

Both teams failed to sink anything until Washington finally scored the first points of the new frame 3:15 in.

The Huskies began to score and the Aztecs remained cold, unable to score from anywhere.

With 3:22 left in the quarter, the Aztecs finally saw a pulse in their offense when Brandon drained her second long ball of the contest.

The pulse from behind the arc sustained when sophomore guard Lexy Thorderson knocked down another 3 on the very next possession and grew stronger when Brandon sniped her third 3-pointer of of the game less than a minute later.

The hot hand from behind the arc allowed the Aztecs to cut the Husky lead to nine, and they only trailed 32-23 heading into the dressing rooms.

Junior guard Ariell Bostick, however, found herself in foul trouble in first half, with three fouls in six minutes.

Turnovers plagued both teams in the first half. The Aztecs had 10, but six turnovers from the Huskies prevented the game from getting out of hand.

Only down by nine, the Aztecs were able to hang strong with the Huskies in the third quarter.

Sophomore guard McKynzie Fort sliced through the Washington defense on multiple possessions and Thorderson hit a 3 with 4:47 to go in the quarter, cutting the deficit to five.

The Aztecs found themselves outscoring the Huskies 12-9 at the first media timeout of the half, and were able to pull within three at one point.

“We focused on taking great shots,” SDSU head coach Stacie Terry said. “We were going to shoot towards the end of the shot clock, to make sure we were getting more possessions than they were.”

However, Washington buckled down and began to once again further the gap, getting out to a 56-42  lead at the end of the third.

The onslaught from Washington continued in the fourth quarter, mostly behind the dominant play of junior guard Kelsey Plum, as the Aztecs dropped their fourth straight decision.

Plum led the Huskies, finishing with 32 points, going 12-for-19 from the field and 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. She also had five assists and two rebounds.

“We just ran out of gas in that fourth quarter and gave up a lot of transition points.” Terry said. “We gave them a run for their money. If the game was 30 minutes, it would’ve been a different outcome.”

Some aspects were promising for SDSU.

The Aztecs held a team that averaged more than 90 points a contest to 80, with most of the Huskies’ scoring taking place late in the game.

Having only shot 35 percent from the field this season, SDSU saw an improvement against Washington, shooting 40 percent on the evening.

Fort once again led the way for SDSU, finishing with 16 points and going 8-for-13 from the field. She also grabbed four rebounds and recorded two assists.

Brandon and Thorderson’s efforts from 3-point land showed promise, too, going 3-for-5 and 3-of-6, respectively.

“We’ve known that (Brandon and Thorderson) can do that, they just haven’t had the success that we all knew that they could have, but that’s a good night for us shooting,” Terry said. “We expect that from them.”

The Aztecs will return home to Viejas Arena for the SDSU Thanksgiving Classic Nov. 27-29.