SDSU women’s basketball makes it 3 in a row with 69-66 win over Air Force

by Brandon Truffa, Senior Staff Writer

So far, February has been a kind month to the San Diego State women’s basketball team.

The Aztecs extended their winning streak to three Saturday night, after downing Air Force Academy, 69-66.

The streak marks the second time this season SDSU has won three games in a row. The Aztecs (9-15, 4-9 Mountain West) won their final three games in December to wrap up 2015.

The streak is enlightening for a team that lost nine games in a row to start 2016. Head coach Stacie Terry believes her team’s focus and strive for improvement has helped turn their fortunes around.

“Through the losses they really were able to come back and improve, and really have a good attitude,” Terry said. “We focused on the small things that were causing us to not be successful.”

Saturday night the Aztecs faced a team that also recently snapped a lengthy losing streak.

With its win on Wednesday against University of Nevada, Air Force snapped a 32-game losing streak.

Not counting the Falcons’ victory in an exhibition game this season against Adams State University back on Nov. 6, Wednesday was Air Force’s first victory since Jan. 28, 2015, when it beat San Jose State.

The win on Wednesday also marked Falcons head coach Chris Gobrecht’s first victory with the team.

But Terry and the Aztecs could not overlook the Falcons, despite the team being at the bottom of the conference, and riding a high of snapping a losing streak.

“They’re a good team, and it’s a tough place to play on their home court,” Terry said. “And we’re still trying to figure out who we are and be consistent in (our) game plan.”

With Air Force being in Colorado Springs, the Aztecs had to play at altitude, which is always difficult for a road team. But playing at altitude is something SDSU has had success with this season.

Earlier this season, the Aztecs won both previous games they played at altitude, beating University of Wyoming and University of New Mexico on the road.

Saturday night SDSU continued that trend, and pulled off its best shooting performances of the season.

The Aztecs shot 24 for 44 from the field, which included 8 for 14 from 3.

SDSU also knocked down 13 of its 17 free throws on the evening, and outrebounded the Falcons 33-27.

Sophomore guard Mckynzie Fort led the way for SDSU. Fort finished with 16 points, two assists and two rebounds.

Fellow sophomore forward Lexy Thorderson scored all nine of her points on the evening off of 3-pointers, going 3 for 5 from beyond the arc.

Air Force was able to make it a game, however, as it was carried by sophomore guards Cortney Porter and Sarah Cantu.

Porter and Cantu were responsible for 45 of Air Force’s 66 points, scoring 25 and 20, respectively.

In the final moments of the game, the Falcons were nearly able to send the game to overtime with one last possession, but the final shot failed to sink, and SDSU walked out with a third straight victory.

“Air Force is a scrappy team,” Terry said. “We’re excited to come away with the win, I mean, any road win in this league is a good win.”

Saturday night’s win also marked SDSU’s 12th consecutive victory over Air Force. The last time Air Force defeated the Aztecs was Jan. 19, 2011, in Colorado Springs.

Before its next game, a home match against San Jose State on Feb. 20, SDSU will have some time off to rest to tend to some late-season wear and tear.

“We’re a little banged up right now,” Terry said. “A couple nagging injuries have resurfaced again, so I think we’re going to use this week to get healthy again and take a couple days off.”