SDSU women’s basketball offense looking for redemption against Utah State

by Brandon Truffa , Senior Staff Writer

The last time San Diego State women’s basketball (6-11, 1-5 Mountain West) faced Utah State (8-10, 3-4 MW), the end result was ugly.

In their first game of 2016, the Aztecs hosted the Aggies and had their worst offensive showing of the season, falling 55-36.

Currently on a five-game losing streak and still searching for its first win of the 2016, SDSU will look to avenge its previous meeting on Saturday as it makes the trip to Logan, Utah.

Sitting in 10th place in the MW with a 1-5 conference record, the Aztecs are remaining positive, and are sure there is enough time in the season left to turn the tides.

“Even though it is frustrating to keep losing, I think we’re all still together and still believe in each other,” sophomore forward Lexy Thorderson said. “I feel like we still have a chance at winning and just getting better.”

The Aztecs’ offense was almost non-existent when facing Utah State back on Jan. 2.

SDSU opened the contest missing 11 of its first 12 field goals, and only managed to put up 16 points in the first half.

In the second half, the Aztecs were able to pull within 10, but a 16-1 run by the Aggies ultimately diminished the Aztecs’ chances of winning.

Looking ahead, SDSU is using what it learned from the bow-out to prepare for Saturday’s game.

“They’ve playing a lot of zone, and that caused us a lot of problems,” head coach Stacie Terry said. “They zoned us, so we’ve been spending a lot of time on our zone offense.”

Not everything SDSU took away from its first shot at Utah State was negative. Terry believes her team had a solid defensive effort, despite the large margin of defeat.

“I think we defended OK, I mean, we held them to 55 points, we just couldn’t score ourselves,” Terry said. “We’re holding our opponents in the 50s the majority of the time, which is giving us a chance to win, but we’ve got to figure out a way to get the ball in the basket.”

Leading the way for the Aggies is sophomore guard Funda Nakkasoglu.

Nakkasoglu leads the team in scoring, averaging 20.8 points a game, including a 27-point outing against the Aztecs a few weeks ago.

“She does a great job of not only creating for herself, but for her teammates,” Terry said. “We’ve put a lot of emphasis on her and how we’re going to slow her down a little bit. You’re not going to stop a player like that, she’s a really excellent player, and we’ve just got to slow her down.”

Thorderson said the Aggies’ strengths are their size and speed.

“They’re very good at pushing tempo in transition,” Thorderson said. “They’re tall, so they rebound well.”

Learning from their early mistakes and using them as motivation moving forward, the Aztecs look to change the fortune of their season in the second half of conference play.

“There’s a lot of things going on,” Terry said. “It’s like a series of unfortunate events, but I think it’s just going to help us in the second half of conference and in the tournament.”