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Story and photos by Liz Alper

December 10, 2017 (San Diego) - After a heartbreaking loss at Steve Fisher Court on Friday afternoon to UC Irvine, the lady Aztecs took the court again for a mulligan on Sunday afternoon against Hope International, who traveled down to San Diego from Fullerton.

It must be such a relief to head coach Stacie Terry to have Khalia Lark back because within the first four and a half minutes in the first quarter, the 6’0” Aztec senior guard racked up six points thanks to two three-pointers.  But the Royals had some on-point three-point shooters of their own in juniors Julia Pihl and Chyann Pendergrass and soon, what looked like an Aztec runaway turned into a competitive game.  Thankfully, the combined threat of senior guard and forward Lexy Thorderson and freshman guard Te’a Adams helped put the Aztecs up big again after one, 20-13.

But the Aztecs got their runaway in the second quarter, leaving the Royals in the dust despite the phenomenal effort by their three-point shooters.  Lark hit her third three of the game and Adams scored two buckets, one on a steal, with a minute left to put the Aztecs up by 14 at the half, 41-27.

Lark and Adams added to their point totals by continuing their impressive play in the second half.  Lark added more threes, going 4/7 from beyond the arc and Adams continued her good shooting, upping her stats to 9/12 from the field (2/4 from beyond the arc) and scoring 20 points and the Aztecs pulled away even further, leading 66-49 after three quarters.

Adams led the way to the end with 20 points, six assists and rebounds and five steals.  Freshman guard Najé Murray was right behind her with 16 points and the lady Aztecs did something that they would have never been able to do last season:  beat a 10-1 team and by a landslide at that, cruising to a 92-68 victory, scoring their season high in points.

"I think it was a great win, it was a great opportunity for us to get better," Adams said after the game.  "I think we've been working a lot on sharing the ball and we were really successful with that today."

"I think as a team, we played really solid," Lark said. "we shared the ball really well tonight."

"I thought we did a good job," Coach Terry said. "'s always nice when you can make 13 threes, it's always nice when you shoot 53 percent from the field, so I thought we did a good job after the first quarter of kind of balancing that out, of doing a little bit of both, so that's the positive coming from our offense.   

"...this team is growing and evolving after every single game and I am really proud of that because they're not happy with where they are.  They're still hungry and very driven to win more...I believe that's a big piece of us winning, is being able to stay tough and stay together.  That's kind of been our theme of the year."

The ladies of Steve Fisher Court wrap up their home stand on Thursday night against UC Santa Clara.  Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m.



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