Feb. 27, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of New Mexico Lobos (14-12, 6-7 MW) and the San Diego State Aztecs met on Wednesday evening in a battle of streaks. New Mexico carried with it a four-game road winning streak while San Diego State (22-5, 13-1 MW) carried with it a twelve-game winning streak into Viejas Arena. The Aztecs would advance their winning streak to 13-straight wins with a 72-44 victory over the Lobos.
"We didn't dig in as well as we should have offensively. We took some bad shots and turned it over, which then hurt our defense as SDSU got out on the break. They are the number one team in our conference and 13-1 (in conference play) for a reason. If you make a mistake against them, they are going to exploit you and they did tonight," commented Head Coach Yvonne Sanchez
SDSU rode the lethal offensive play of Courtney Clements to the win as the senior guard matched a career high with 29 points. It tied the second-most points scored by an opponent versus UNM this season after UNLV's Kelli Thompson also scored 29 points back in The Pit earlier this month.
Coach Sanchez and company committed a season-high 29 turnovers, which San Diego State converted into 34 points off of turnovers. The turnovers began to snowball into Aztec fast break points in the second half especially. A ten-point halftime deficit ballooned to a 28-point defeat by the end of the night.
"We played extremely hard and were only down ten after the first half. Then we just kept committing turnovers and against a team like San Diego State that's going to be your downfall. We had 29 turnovers, which is just unacceptable. They took those 29 turnovers and turned them into 34 points off of turnovers to our eleven points," Sanchez noted.
In support of Clements, fellow Aztec backcourt mate Chelsea Hopkins finished with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Turnovers continued to haunt the Lobos after the halftime break. A quick handful of them in several minutes saw San Diego race their way to a quick 13-point lead after New Mexico cut the lead to seven points early.
Fast break points helped San Diego State push their lead even further as they would convert seven of their first ten shots of the second half. By the end of the game SDSU owned the fast break scoring 22-2. The Aztecs led by 15 points or more for the final 15 minutes of the game as New Mexico struggled to find their offensive rhythm. SDSU's Courtney Clements kept it going in the second half scoring 15 points to give her 29 for the game.
After shooting 11-23 (47.8%) from the field in the first half, UNM cooled off shooting 8-25 (32.0%) in the second half. It was the first time since playing at Colorado back in December that the Lobos scored less than 20 points in the second half of the game.
The game began as a defensive battle as San Diego built and held a six-point lead throughout the first ten minutes of the game. The Aztecs upped their lead to double digits as New Mexico went five minutes and nine seconds without a point between the second and third media timeouts.
Turnovers would prove to be the Lobos' biggest foe in the first half. The Cherry & Silver committed 14 of them in the first half. UNM also struggled to slow Courtney Clements in the San Diego State offense. She scored 14 points in the first half while also grabbing five rebounds.
The New Mexico scoring was spread through a pack of Lobos. Jourdan Erskine and Antiesha Brown each had six points to lead UNM. Caroline Durbin was scoreless and limited to just two minutes of action due to two quick fouls.