W. Basketball Drops Overtime Heartbreaker 70-67 To Utah
Jan. 8, 2011
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State women's basketball team got a career-high 29 points from sophomore Courtney Clements and rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to force overtime, but was unable to notch the game-winning bucket in the final seconds, falling to visiting Utah, 70-67, Saturday at Viejas Arena. The loss was the Aztecs' fourth this year and second in a row by three or fewer points and dropped them to 6-8 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The Utes, meanwhile, improved to 2-0 in league action and 9-7 on the season.
Clements (Long Beach, Calif.) had a career afternoon, making 12 of her 19 shot attempts from the field and finishing with 29 points, 10 more than her previous high of 19 in the season-opener with No. 16 UCLA. Clements' 29 points are the most by an Aztec this season and the guard also tallied a career-best four assists and pulled down five boards in 33 minutes of action.
SDSU senior Jessika Bradley (Sacramento, Calif.) notched her second double-double of the year and seventh of her career with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Center Paris Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) had eight points and four blocks, guard Sajoyia Griffin (San Antonio, Texas) also finished with eight points and guard Coco Davis (Sacramento, Calif.) had eight assists in playing all but one minute.
The Aztecs started strong for the second consecutive outing, running out to an 11-0 lead to start the afternoon before Utah was able to even get on the scoreboard at the 15:23 mark. The basket, however, only woke up the Ute offense as it reeled off an 8-0 run to close to within three at 11-8.
After missing her opening shot of the game, Utah's Iwalani Rodrigues did not miss for the remainder of the first half, making eight straight shots, including three from beyond the arc, to give the visitors a 12-point advantage at 39-27 heading into the locker room.
SDSU cut that deficit in half with three consecutive scores after the break and would eventually take the lead at 46-45 with 8:26 remaining. The Utes immediately countered with a Rodrigues triple and were up by five points with 1:58 left in regulation. Clements brought the Aztecs to within one point at 56-55 and was fouled on the made basket, but was unable to make the free throw and Utah went up by a pair on a free throw of its own with 38 seconds left on the clock.
Clements missed on a 3-pointer try, but sophomore Gabrielle Clark (Long Beach, Calif.) grabbed the rebound for SDSU and Bradley scored the tying bucket with 15 seconds to go to send it into overtime.
In the extra period, the two teams were tied once and traded the lead four times with the Aztecs going up by one on a Clements triple with 28 seconds left. After a timeout, however, Ute Michelle Plouffe made a jumper in the paint to give her team back the lead at 68-67, and on the ensuing possession, Davis' lay-up attempt with three seconds left caught the inside of the rim and Utah grabbed the rebound before hitting two free throws to close out the 70-67 victory.
San Diego State shot 45.6 percent from the field and committed a season-low 13 turnovers, but Utah had a +9 margin on the glass, was 8-for-18 from beyond the arc and 10-for-12 at the free-throw line.
Rodrigues finished the night 11-of-18 from the field for 27 points, while Plouffe logged a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
The Aztecs will have just two full days to prepare for their next game, as SDSU plays its MWC road opener Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. PT at UNLV. The contest will be televised live on The Mtn.