San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Column: Aztecs’ season comes up short in MW semifinals, but best is yet to come

Kareem Jones
Sophomore guard Naje Murray sends a pass into the post during the Aztecs 62-49 loss to UNLV on Feb. 23 at Viejas Arena.

San Diego State women’s basketball reached a dead end on March 12 following a 75-70 overtime loss to Wyoming in the semifinal round of the Mountain West Tournament.

The Aztecs came in as the seventh-seed and defeated tenth-seeded Air Force in the quarterfinals to advance. The following day, SDSU upset second-seeded New Mexico.

SDSU (14-18, 7-11 MW) had a rollercoaster of a season.

Head coach Stacie Terry started four underclassmen.

In the beginning of the year, Terry said she was unsure what the season was going to bring.

“Right now, we don’t know what this team is going to be,” she said. “We’re going to see where this year takes us.”

Well, the year took them one game shy of the MW Championship.

Freshman guards Sophia Ramos and Mallory Adams made their marks in their rookie seasons.

Ramos was the leading scorer with an average of 14 points, adding four assists and four rebounds per contest.

The 5-foot-9-inch guard was a major factor in SDSU’s success in the MW Tournament in Las Vegas.

Ramos was named to the MW All-Tournament Team after forcing overtime against New Mexico on a drive to the basket and averaging 16.7 points per game in the tournament.

She is the only freshman or underclassman on the list.

Ramos said the accolade was a surprise to her.

“I didn’t come in with those expectations for myself solely because I didn’t know how my season was going to turn out,” she said. “It shows a lot of the hard work that me and my teammates put in and them pushing me was able to help me be successful in the tournament.”

Her freshman partner-in-crime, Adams, led SDSU in rebounds and averaged 12 points and nine rebounds per game.

The young duo was named to the Mountain West All-Freshman team.

The other two major assets to the team are sophomore guards Najé Murray and Téa Adams.

Though just a year of experience under their belts, Murray and Téa Adams had to take on leadership roles early on.

Murray’s focus all season was to prove that there’s more to her than scoring.

The Stockton native led the Aztecs with 1.9 steals per game.

But her scoring did not wither as Murray broke a shooting record.

She now holds the record for most 3-pointers in a season with 79.

Redshirt junior center Zayn Dornstauder made herself known towards the end of the season.

Halfway into the season, the 6-foot-3-inch center said she was aiming to be more aggressive.

She kept her word.

Dornstauder finished with three double-doubles, one which came during the semifinal matchup against Wyoming in the MW Tournament.

Against the Cowgirls, she finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Dornstauder said her recent success has proved her capability.

“It sets a standard,” she said. “I know what I’m capable of. Coaches know what I’m capable of. So just maintaining that and coming out hard once season starts next year.”

Junior forward Baylee Vanderdoes also became a threat late in the season.

She had 37 rebounds in her last five games of the season.

Ramos said the variety of bigs the Aztecs have is what makes the team special.

“I think all of our posts bring something different,” Ramos said. “Which makes them so dangerous for us.”

Team chemistry seemed to be extremely important this season.

The Aztecs took a trip to Big Bear Lake in hopes of connecting with one another before the season started.

“It was three days getting off our phones, spending time with each other, all of us in the same room. We had no choice but to talk to each other,” senior forward Arantxa Gómez Ferrer said.

Six months later, on senior night, Gomez Ferrer said her team was her favorite thing at SDSU.

“I came from high school with a team that was really together and close,” she said. “I came to college knowing it’s way more competitive, things are different and I might not get that. But I got it. We always got each other’s back.”

Dornstauder said the team is prepared for next season.

“Now that we know what we can do,” she said. “We don’t necessarily have to be the underdogs anymore.”

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 10:16 p.m. on March 21.

About the Contributors
Tristi Rodriguez, Staff Writer
Tristi is a media studies major pursuing a career in sports journalism. She is a huge Dwyane Wade fan. Tristi would one day like to work as a reporter covering the NBA.
Kareem Jones
Kareem Jones, Staff Photographer
Kareem is in his fourth year at San Diego State University where he studies Journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies. He is a sports staff writer and photographer for The Daily Aztec and has experience covering a variety of sports such as football, men and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and women’s lacrosse. He is also a contributor for As a photographer, Kareem enjoys telling stories through his images, painting the perfect picture for his audience. He loves sports and has aspirations on working for ESPN in the future. Follow Kareem on Twitter @noblee_k, Instagram @noblee.k and/or his photography Instagram page @flicksbyreem to stay tuned on his future endeavors.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Column: Aztecs’ season comes up short in MW semifinals, but best is yet to come