Women's Basketball Claims Third In A Row 74-62 Over Dayton
Dec. 18, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Despite an 11-day layoff between games, the San Diego State women's basketball team returned to action Saturday night and never trailed a strong Dayton squad, using a 50.9 field-goal percentage to earn a 74-62 victory and advance to the championship game of the Women of Troy Basketball Tournament at the Galen Center. With the win, the Aztecs evened their record at 4-4 on the year, while the Flyers, who advanced to last year's NCAA second round, dropped to 5-5 in 2010-11.
SDSU got another outstanding outing from a pair of seniors in guard Coco Davis (Sacramento, Calif.) and center Paris Johnson (San Diego, Calif.). Davis notched a career-best 19 points, including three triples, to go with a season-high seven rebounds and six assists, while Johnson scored 16 of her 19 points in the second half and also pulled down a game-high 10 boards for her third double-double of the year.
Sophomore Courtney Clements (Long Beach, Calif.) was the third SDSU played in double-figure scoring with 13 points, highlighted by a 3-for-5 effort from 3-point land. Johnson and senior Jessika Bradley (Sacramento, Calif.) each had three blocked shots as the Aztecs tallied a season-best nine rejections in all.
The Aztecs reeled off six quick points, hitting three of their first four shots, and the Flyers went 0-for-5 before finally scoring for the first time at the 16:08 mark. SDSU would build an eight-point advantage, but Dayton closed the gap with consecutive rebound baskets and continued to hit the glass to negate the Aztecs' hot shooting start.
The Flyers later closed to within one on two occasions with the first coming after a 10-5 run. SDSU then got consecutive triples from Davis and Clements and a three-point play from junior Kalena Tutt (Long Beach, Calif.) for its largest lead thus far at 32-23. Dayton's Justine Raterman kept her team within striking distance with a pair of triples and her squad ended up tying the score for the first and only time at 35 with 1:18 left until the break.
The Aztecs owned a slight 38-35 advantage heading into the locker room following a three-point play by 6-6 center Malia Nahinu (Hayward, Calif.). Scoring continued to come from the interior on both sides as SDSU went up by seven twice in the opening minutes of the second half courtesy of Johnson, who scored eight points in a row.
Dayton was within four points following a three-point play at 50-46, but the Aztecs got a pair of free throws from Gabrielle Clark (Los Angeles, Calif.), which kick started an 8-0 run to move out to a 58-46 lead. The Flyers closed once again to within seven, but was never able to get any closer as San Diego State ended the game with a 14-9 run over the final 6:08 to secure the first ever meeting between the two foes at 74-62.
SDSU made each of its first five shots from beyond the arc and ended the evening with a season-best seven, doubling its previous shooting percentage with a 50.0 mark (7-for-14). The Aztecs also held the Flyers to a 31.0 field-goal percentage and 18 points under their season scoring average entering the night of 80.8.
Dayton was led by Raterman, who was 6-for-15 from the field for 17 points, to go with nine rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes.
The Aztecs will now face host USC, which defeated Colorado 68-54 in the day's first outing, in the tournament championship game on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. PT at the Galen Center. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 1999.