Feb. 25, 2012
The San Diego State women's basketball team overcame a 13-point deficit to take the lead, but Colorado State scored six points in the final 43 seconds to break a tie and hand the Aztecs just their second conference loss of the season 68-65 at Moby Arena. SDSU dropped to 21-6 overall and 11-2 in league action, while the Rams improved to 13-15 and 9-4, including a perfect 7-0 in MW home contests.
SDSU junior Courtney Clements (Long Beach, Calif.) erupted for her 11th, 20-point scoring effort of the season, notching 24 points on 8-of-19 shooting and was a perfect 8-for-8 at the free-throw line. Classmate Malia Nahinu (Hayward, Calif.) scored in double-figures for the second outing in a row with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go with four blocked shots and three assists. Junior point guard Chelsea Hopkins (Las Vegas, Nev.) fell a rebound short of a double-double with 11 points, nine boards, six assists and three steals in playing all 40 minutes.
Neither school led by more than three points in the opening nine and a half minutes, until Colorado State broke out of an 8-8 tie with 15-2 run to double up the Aztecs at 20-10. The Rams would increase their advantage up to as many as 13 points at the 7:27 mark and later with 4:23 to go. SDSU, however, rallied back with Clements and sophomore Melissa Sweat (Bakersfield, Calif.) combining for 14 of the team's final 16 points before the break, as a lay-up by freshman Erimma Amarikwa (Vacaville, Calif.) at the buzzer cut the deficit to only a pair at 34-32.
Coming out of the locker room, SDSU tied the game on the opening possession and took back the lead for the first time at 43-42 on a Clements jumper at the 15:10 mark. The Aztecs then got a 3-pointer and a lay-up from Nahinu to give the visitors their largest lead of the afternoon at 48-42.
The Rams rallied right back with the help of a career game from junior Meghan Heimstra, who scored eight points in a row to tie the contest at 48 apiece. A 3-pointer from Sam Martin returned the advantage momentarily to Colorado State, but the game continued to hang in the balance with the score knotted at 62 with under a minute remaining.
With the shot clock winding down, point guard LaDeyah Forte hit a rainbow jumper from just inside the 3-point line to give the home squad a 64-62 advantage. The next time down the floor, the Aztecs turned the ball over and Colorado State made two free throws to extend the lead to four. Hopkins converted a 3-pointer to cut it to one with just two seconds remaining, before the Rams finished out the game with two more free throws to claim a 68-65 victory.
San Diego State was outrebounded for just the third time this season (37-32) and Colorado State shot just under 48 percent from the field, including a 50.0 mark in the second half.
CSU was led by Heimstra's 21 points and Kim Mestdagh's 16 points and six assists.
The Aztecs close out the regular season next Wednesday when Boise State travels to San Diego and Viejas Arena for a 7 p.m. PT tip-off. The contest will be the final home game for SDSU seniors Kalena Tutt (Long Beach, Calif.) and Sajoyia Griffin (San Antonio, Texas).