Aztecs' season ends with overtime loss in MW semifinal game
Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
March 13, 2019 (Las Vegas) - Freshman guard Sophia Ramos totaled 16 points and junior center Zayn Dornstauder had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in San Diego State’s 75-70 loss to No. 3 seed Wyoming in Tuesday’s semifinal of the MW Championship. The Aztecs led by as many as three points in the game and had a two-point advantage heading into the last 19 seconds of regulation, but two free throws by the Cowgirls pushed the game into extra minutes.
Four Aztecs finished the game in double figures with Ramos’ 16 points, Mallory Adams and Naje Murray’s 14, and Dorstauder’s 12. Junior forward Baylee Vanderdoes logged 7 rebounds and sophomore guard Téa Adams led the team in assists with three. Dornstauder, Ramos and Vanderdoes all had perfect marks in free throw shooting, going 2-2 each, while Mallory Adams sunk three of four. Adams’ three free throws in the game totaled a mark of 109 on the season for the freshman, moving her into 10th place in the category in program history. Dornstauder’s double-double is her third career mark, recording all three this season.
“I’m proud,” Murray said. “It hurts, for sure, but I mean, I can’t say how incredible this group is for putting something together that no one expected. We flipped this conference tournament upside down for the wins we [had]. I think we kind of made our statement, and it’s going to be different next year, and I think people should be ready for it.”
The Cowgirls were led by Marta Gomez, who totaled 25 points with 50.0 percent shooting from the field and 100 percent from the line (10-10). Gomez also led Wyoming in rebounds (7), while Taylor Rusk had a team-high five assists. Karla Erjavec and Bailee Cotton also scored in double digits with 16 points and 12 points, respectively.
“What a fun game to watch, again,” head coach Stacie Terry said. “Overtime again. Offensive juggernaut. This hurts. It hurts, because I felt like this group of young women put themselves in a great situation to be successful, and the ball didn’t bounce our way tonight. But, I thought they played with so much grit and tenacity and heart for 45 minutes. I know someone has to lose; I just hate it was us, because they played their hearts out. I asked them not to leave anything out there, and I think they did that. Just proud of this team.”
Wyoming led by as many as nine points in the first quarter of the game and finished the first 10 minutes with a five-point lead over the Aztecs. SDSU shared the ball as five of the eight women who saw playing time in the quarter put up at least one bucket.
The Aztecs found their rhythm in the second quarter, shooting a whopping 75.0 percent from the field in the quarter to make for 58.3 percent field goal shooting for the half. Murray hit a deep three mid-way through the quarter to bring the Aztecs back to even with the Cowgirls before putting up another layup soon after to give SDSU its first lead since the opening minute of the game. The teams finished the half tied at 32 and the Aztecs earned 26 of their points in the paint.
SDSU and Wyoming remained neck-and-neck throughout the third quarter as both squads scored 10 points in the first three and a half minutes of the second half. Ramos and Téa Adams each broke double digits in scoring by the end of the quarter.
The Aztecs were down by as many as five points in the fourth quarter before charging back to take a 58-56 lead with less than 20 seconds to play thanks to Murray’s timely three-pointer and two late layups by Dornstauder. The junior also logged five rebounds in the quarter, one more than the four she logged in the first three quarters of the game. A foul call put Wyoming’s Karla Erjavec at the line and her two good shots sent the game into extra minutes.
The two teams fought hard in overtime and Wyoming eventually got on an unstoppable run to finish out the game. Wyoming’s Gomez, who finished regulation with 12 points, put up a bucket and one three before going 8-8 from the charity stripe to add 13 points to her total for the night.
The Aztecs have gone into overtime in three of their last four tournament games (1-2). SDSU is also the first team to play in two overtime games in a single MW Women’s Basketball Championship.