San Diego, California - In front of the program’s best attended game in nearly eight years, the San Diego State women’s basketball team was unable to counteract one of the best shooting teams in the country, falling to Michigan, 92-57, in non-conference action Friday afternoon.
“When you’re playing a really good team like Michigan, you can’t allow them to get easy ones,” head coach Stacie Terry said. “They’re going to score, but you have to make them work for the buckets. They did a good job of executing and knocking down shots when they had the opportunity but we gave them too many open looks to be competitive.”
The atmosphere was SDSU’s best in recent memory, as 2,632 fans were in attendance. It was the greatest showing since Jan. 24, 2009, when 2,792 were in Viejas Arena to see San Diego State play then-conference foe Brigham Young.
“We had a great crowd today,” Terry said. “The energy in the gym was high so the team was excited. It was awesome to have all of those people in the gym. Their energy and the roar from the crowd lifted us at times when we made baskets. It was so nice to feel that energy when we walked out at the beginning of the game.”
Receiving votes in both national top-25 polls, Michigan (8-2), who came in to the game ranked 10th nationally with 67 made field goals, was 37-for-65 from the floor for a .569 field goal percentage. The Wolverines were able to spread the wealth around, with five players shooting in double-digits. Meanwhile, San Diego State (2-6) was 17-for-45 (37.8 percent), led by Kymberly Ellison’s 12 points on a career-best four 3-pointers. She added five boards, tying a career-high mark. Geena Gomez added 11 points on four field goals.
The Aztecs had one of its better performances this season from beyond the 3-point arc, going 7-for-17 (41.2 percent). Ellison was 4-for-8 from 3-point range, while Gomez added a pair of treys.
It took some time for the Aztecs to find their shot from opening tip. The team went nearly seven minutes before making a basket, when Lexy Thorderson drilled a deep three from the left corner at 3:03. Ariell Bostick added a jumper exactly one minute later for San Diego State’s second of two first-quarter field goals. SDSU trailed, 29-13, after 10 minutes of play.
But the Scarlet and Black displayed a renewed spirit in the opening minutes of the second quarter. On the first possession of the frame, Ellison let in a three from the left side of the basket, which she duplicated just under a minute later.
Ellison knocked down her third three of the game at 7:46 for the impressing early showing when McKynzie Fort stole the ball along the far sideline then raced it down the court. On the possession, Ellison was able to knock down the long three, her third in as many minutes, from the right corner for the 33-22 Wolverine advantage.
After a 5-0 run by the Wolverines, Cheyenne Greenhouse halted Michigan’s flow with a jumper from just inside the 3-point line. On the next SDSU possession, Bostick was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made the ensuing three free throws, making the score 40-27 in Michigan’s favor.
However, San Diego State was shut out from a field goal for nearly five-and-a-half minutes to end the half, and the deficit was 49-31 going into the intermission.
The third quarter saw Michigan display its shooting prowess, as the visitor shot nearly 69 percent in the period, cashing in on 11 of its 16 attempts.
The Aztecs were able to match the Wolverines in the fourth quarter, 14-14, but the chasm was too deep for SDSU to overcome for the final 92-57 score.
“These opportunities that we have to play this type of high-caliber team are really important to our progress,” Terry said, “We’re going to take the good and bad from this loss and learn from it.”
The Aztecs return to Viejas Arena Sunday at 2 p.m. to take on UC Santa Barbara. San Diego State is offering $2 admission to the game for fans that bring a pair of new socks, which will be donated to homeless San Diegans.