Aztecs hold off Utah State, earn second Mountain West win


Kareem Jones

Senior guard Taylor Kalmer follows through on a jump shot during the Aztecs’ 55-45 win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17, 2019 at Viejas Arena.

by Cristian Alvarez, Staff Writer

San Diego State women’s basketball defeated the Utah State Aggies by a final score of 66-62 at Viejas Arena on Jan. 4.

The Aztecs (7-9, 2-2 Mountain West Conference) posted their second win in conference play, thanks to sophomore guard Sophia Ramos’ 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting followed by senior guard Taylor Kalmer’s 14 points — 10 of which came in the second half.

Here are three observations from the game.

Aztecs clean up mistakes

In its previous game, SDSU turned the ball over against the Fresno State Bulldogs 21 times. They also only managed to dish out three assists on the road.

Those are the types of mistakes that can cost a team ball games. 

But there were significant adjustments made against the Aggies.

The Scarlet and Black moved the ball more and ended up with 11 assists. The Aztecs took better care of the basketball with eight total turnovers compared to the Aggies’ 13.

Head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson said the team still has a way to go but acknowledges the signs of improvement.

“When we were turning the ball over 20 times, we didn’t really give ourselves a chance to win,” Terry-Hutson said. “It puts so much pressure on our defense, which is ever-changing. We still have to do better taking care of the ball.”

“Mo-Money” steps up

Following a knee injury that cost starting sophomore forward Mallory Adams the remainder of her season, senior Monique Terry has shown signs of fulfilling her role.

Terry hit a new career-high 13 points on Saturday afternoon. She made the most of the 29 minutes on the floor by sinking in five of her six shots.

With 8:01 left in the game, Terry dropped in a 3-pointer which gave some breathing room for the Aztecs and extended their lead to four points.

Then with 2:35 to go, Terry swished another bucket from 15 feet out in the corner to push the Aztecs away from a creeping Aggies team who stayed within single digits all game long.

Terry scored her final point at the line by making one of two free throws after senior forward Baylee Vanderdoes boxed out to grab a board and drew a foul with under a minute left to play.

After the game, Terry said it was great scoring 13 points but was proud of her team finding a way to win.

“It was a tough win that we needed,” Terry said. “Everyone all the way down was giving it their all 100 percent. It wasn’t much of an individual effort but rather all around.”

Struggle containing Aggies from deep

Utah State was off to a slow start after one period of play in the three-point zone.

The Aggies had two attempts with both shots following short of pulling through. However, that changed in the second quarter.

The visitors started to find their groove and nailed four of their next eight threes. The final one came with 11 seconds left from forward Steph Gorman that rallied the Aggies 29-26 heading into halftime.

After the break, the Aggies continued to make the Aztecs pay by making three of five shots behind the arc.

SDSU was the other hand was relatively quiet in the 3-point category. They only had four attempts in the game and made one.

Sophomore guard Sophia Ramos, who had a game-high 20 points, said the Aztecs’ offense runs more through their mid-range game.

“We didn’t really pay attention to how many shots we were taking from the outside. It’s something I don’t think we really think about,” Ramos said. “A lot of our A-game comes downhill in the mid-range. Our style of play is not necessarily shooting from the three but getting downhill.”

Next for the Aztecs

SDSU hosts Wyoming on Jan. 8 at Viejas Arena.

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