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SDSU had its best shooting performance since the 2014-15 season opener vs. Sacramento State

Source: press release

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November 27, 2016 (South Orange, N.J.) - The San Diego State women’s basketball team shot 60.4 percent from the floor to beat Central Connecticut State University, 80-62, at the Seton Hall Thanksgiving Classic Sunday afternoon.

“The team was focused,” SDSU head coach Stacie Terry said. “I knew they were going to come out and compete. They were getting frustrated (with their three-game losing streak). But they’re understanding more and more every game and I knew they were ready to play. It’s so much more fun when we come out and play well.”

The game marked the Aztecs’ best shooting performance since the 2014-15 season opener against Sacramento State (Nov. 14, 2014), when the team was 39-for-62 (.629). Against the Blue Devils, SDSU went 29-for-48 and was 8-for-16 from beyond the 3-point arc.

In the game, San Diego State’s biggest win of the season, juniors Geena Gomez and McKynzie Fort led all players with 17 points. For Gomez, it was a career-high tally. Kymberly Ellison and Lexy Thorderson each recorded 10 points, while Ariell Bostick picked up 10 boards for a season high.

Fort opened scoring for the Aztecs (2-4) when she drove the floor and got a jumper at the front of the basket. SDSU then had three empty possessions without getting a shot off, allowing Central Connecticut State (1-5) to take a 7-2 lead 3:13 into the game. 

But the Aztecs defense kicked in and did not allow a Blue Devil for over four-and-a-half minutes. With a strong backcourt, Ellison nailed a three and Thorderson’s bucket from just inside three-point range tied the game at 7-7. The Aztecs took its first lead of the game at 9-7 when Gomez cashed in on a close-range jumper.

After the Blue Devils tied it up at 9-9, Gomez drilled a three from the left corner. CCSU, however, scored 10 unanswered points to close out the first quarter with a 19-12 lead after 10 minutes of play.

San Diego State’s freshmen sparked a comeback in the second quarter, helping the Scarlet and Black out-score Central Connecticut State, 24-11. Monique Terry, making her first career start, made a layup 21 seconds in, and classmate Baylee Vanderdoes followed that up 39 seconds later with a layup of her own.

Entering into the bonus at 6:32, Gomez made four free throws and Vanderdoes and Fort added one each to knot the score at 22-22 with 5:08 to go in the frame. The Aztecs wouldn’t allow a Blue Devils field goal in the quarter until 4:30, when Central Connecticut State regained its lead at 26-22 with a jumper and a pair of free throws.

Thorderson was able to knock down a three and two free throws and, with Gomez’s second trey of the game, SDSU took the lead at 30-28 with just over two-and-a-half minutes to go. Fort’s added three layups as time wound down on the first half to increase the Aztecs’ lead to 36-30 at halftime.

Fort continued her momentum with a layup 45 seconds into the second half, while Ellison’s five points and Terry’s two layups gave SDSU a 13-point lead at 47-34 just over five minutes into the third quarter.

Ariell Bostick kept it going with a steal in the Aztecs’ half of the court and a layup for the 15-point advantage at 4:16. Thorderson added a trey at 3:48 and, following a Blue Devil three-pointer, Cheyenne Greenhouse got her first two points of the contest with 2:48 remaining in the frame for the 54-37 margin.

CCSU put up a layup and free throw to get to 42 points for the game. SDSU answered back with Vanderdoes laying in a pair of shots and SDSU making good on three free throws for a 61-43 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Central Connecticut State attempted a comeback in the final frame, getting five points in the first minute of the period. But the Scarlet and Black was determined to fight to the very end, matching the Blue Devils’ 19 points scored for the final 80-62 win.

“I thought we did a good job of getting inside touches,” Terry said. “They didn’t always connect and it made their defense collapse a little bit to make those threes a little more open. That gave us more confidence and the basket got a little bigger. We look pretty good when we knock down threes, especially eight of them.”

San Diego State visits UC Davis on Fri., Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.  

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