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Story and photos by Liz Alper

December 11, 2016 (San Diego) - After a lackluster performance against Michigan on Friday afternoon, the lady Aztecs took Steve Fisher Court again looking to rebound against the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara.

It was a whole different Aztecs team than the one on Friday.  Freshman forward Monique Terry and junior guard McKynzie Fort got the big buckets early and the Aztecs were up to a 13-9 lead with 4:20 left.  The Gauchos were proficient at the three ball, but the Aztecs managed to end the first quarter up 27-22.

In the second quarter, the Aztecs started to revert back to how they played on Friday.  On the other side, the Gauchos started to make more and more field goals.  If it weren’t for a huge three pointer at the end of the half, the Aztecs would be trailing, but instead, they took a slim, two-point, 38-36 lead to the locker room.

In the second half, the Aztecs finally pulled away thanks to a big third quarter by junior guard/forward Lexy Thorderson, who scored a game-high 17 points.  But the defense couldn't keep the hot-handed Gauchos down and they took a 58-57 lead after three.

In the fourth, the Aztecs rebounded in a big way.  Back to back threes gave the scarlet and black their biggest lead of the game at 66-58.  They played a big game of keep away and managed to get a big, much-needed win with a score of 84-70.  Five Aztecs reached double digit point totals today:  Thorderson (17), Fort (18), senior guard Kymberly Ellison (13), junior guard Geena Gomez (15) and junior guard Cheyenne Greenhouse (10). The Aztecs also scored their most three pointers since a game against UCSB during the 2012-13 season.

"We went back and watched a lot of game film (from the Michigan game)," head coach Stacie Terry said.  "We didn't even practice yesterday.  It was all film."

"We shared the ball.  I thought we took great shots and when we didn't have a good shot, we made the extra pass and that allowed them to get good looks and they knocked them down.  I think when our offense is rolling, it gives us a little more confidence to make the next one...when we're doing that, we're a pretty good team.  We just have to learn to do it consistently for 40 minutes."

The Aztecs get a nice big chunk of relaxation before traveling to Fullerton to take on Cal State Fullerton on December 22.  Tipoff is at 5:00 p.m.


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