Aztecs take down Nevada, close out regular season with consecutive wins

Senior+guard+Taylor+Kalmer+attacks+the+Nevada+defense+during+the+Aztecs%27+81-68+victory+on+Feb.+27+at+Viejas+Arena.

Sophia Daoud

Senior guard Taylor Kalmer attacks the Nevada defense during the Aztecs' 81-68 victory on Feb. 27 at Viejas Arena.

by Cristian Alvarez, Staff Writer

San Diego State women’s basketball defeated Nevada by a final score of 81-68 on Feb. 27 at Viejas Arena.

The Aztecs (14-16, 9-9 Mountain West Conference) end the regular season on a high note by winning their final two games.

The Aztecs are tied with UNLV for fifth place, each having a 9-9 record in conference play. However, the Rebels own the tiebreaker to make SDSU a sixth seed in next week’s Mountain West tournament.

Just before game time, SDSU honored its senior class: guard Taylor Kalmer, center Zayn Dornstauder and forwards Baylee Vanderdoes and Monique Terry.

The players were brought out with their families. Each player received their own framed jersey and bouquet of flowers.

Head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson also made an adjustment by starting all four seniors.

Here are three observations from the game.

1. Aztecs score season-high 81 points, play strong first half

The Aztecs managed to score past 80 points for just the second time this season.
Forty-two points came in the first half.

Nevada started out up 11-4, but the Aztecs responded with a 16-5 run. They led the game for the rest of the way.

In the second period, the Aztecs created separation from the Wolf Pack.

They outscored Nevada 22-11, shot 55% from the floor and made two of three attempts from beyond the arc.

At the half, the Aztecs were up 14 while holding Nevada to 31% shooting.

“I expect nothing less from us,” senior forward Baylee Vanderdoes said. “I know this is a team we have with a lot more fight, effort and grit than we’ve had in past years.”

2. Taylor Kalmer showcases her efficiency for the Aztecs

In her final game at Viejas Arena, Kalmer came out red hot for SDSU.

She made her first eight attempts on the floor. Less than two minutes into the second quarter, she was already in double digits.

“I don’t think so, maybe in a game of H-O-R-S-E or something,” Kalmer said jokingly on whether she’s ever had a game making her first eight shots.

She finished the game with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

It didn’t matter whether it was off-balance, 25 feet out or with a hand in her face – every shot felt like it was going in.

“(Kalmer) is just a different type of kid,” Terry-Hutson said. “She is so competitive and has huge a great work ethic.”

Her streak continues as she now has 24 straight games scoring 10 points or more, which has been a Mountain West record for an Aztec since the conference’s inception in 1999.

3. Aztecs grab a hold of the ball and win the rebound margin

Good things happen in basketball when you secure rebounds.

It doesn’t happen often for the Aztecs, but when it does, you can see the difference.

SDSU has outrebounded their opponents only 11 times this year, but its record is 8-3 when they do so.

“There’s a big correlation to that. We got to do a better job on the glass, but we did tonight,” Terry-Hutson said. “Most importantly on the offensive glass, I felt like that game we lost by a couple points in Reno was because we gave up too many offensive boards.”

The Aztecs had 10 offensive rebounds and 43 overall compared to Nevada’s 32 on the night.

It’s the fourth time this season the Aztecs had back-to-back games winning the rebound battle.

Next for SDSU

The Mountain West tournament begins on Sunday in Las Vegas. The Aztecs will likely be the sixth seed, which means they would face the 11th seed to begin their run for a program banner.

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