It All Went Right For The Aztecs On Senior Night

San Diego State women’s basketball team honored Taylor Kalmer, Zayn Dornstauder, Monique Terry and Baylee Vanderdoes before Thursday’s game, as it was their final time playing in Viejas arena.

“Baylee [Vanderdoes] and Monique [Terry] have been with me all four years and I’m amazed with their growth on and off the court. Both of their roles transitioned into starters. I’m proud of the effort they put in.” Head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson said. “Zayn [Dornstauder] has been here two years and I don’t know that we’ve had a dominant post player since I’ve been here and she’s been able to really work on the offensive end. She’s so skilled so she’ll be missed. TK [Taylor Kalmer] is so competitive and has such a good work ethic. These four seniors have all helped changed our culture.”

The Aztecs won their home finale and final regular season game 81-68 against Nevada. Hot shooting throughout the entire game left little in doubt as the Aztecs closed out their season. 

SDSU made 49% of their shots, which included shooting 50% from downtown. The team also had four players who scored in double-digits and two players who scored eight points.

 “We need a third scorer.” Terry-Hutson said. “Sophia [Ramos] and TK [Kalmer] take up so much of the offensive load it’s nice to see Zayn [Dornstauder] and Tea [Adams] takeover some nights.”

Their offense wasn’t the only part of their game that clicked. After getting on track, the Aztecs defense played with grit and held the Wolfpack to 34.9% shooting.

“It’s senior night so give everything you have so I think that’s the mentality too,” Vanderdoes said. “I always give it my all, but it was just different tonight.”

The Aztecs started the game down 12-4, but after a few adjustments they took a 42-28 halftime lead.  Kalmer ended the first half with 15 points and made her first eight shots.

Jokingly, Kalmer said she couldn’t recall making eight shots in a row. “I don’t know, maybe in H-O-R-S-E or something.” She finished with 20 points and extended her streak of scoring at least 10 points per game to 24.

As a team, the Aztecs shot 55% from the field and 83% from three in the first two quarters. A 15-0 run out of halftime gave them a 24 point lead with less than two minutes remaining in the third.

“We were able to build a lead and give ourself a cushion and we see once we do that we have a great shot at beating some good teams.” Kalmer said.

SDSU earned their ninth win in conference play and it’s the most they’ve had since the 2014-15 season. The Aztecs also finished 9-8 at Viejas this season, but it still hasn’t sunk in that it was their final home game, especially for the seniors.

“It hasn’t sunk in.” Vanderdoes said. “I feel like I’m just gonna put my shoes back on and practice here tomorrow.” 

It was a close knit group who cared for each other tremendously this season. The over 1,000 fans in attendance could see how locked in the Aztecs were tonight, on both sides of the ball. as

The team wanted to send their four seniors out with cheerful memories of Viejas arena.

“My made of honor will probably be Monique [Terry]. Vanderdoes said. “Zayn [Dornstauder] and I got really close and TK [Kalmer] makes be better. She demands that of everyone on the team and we all meshed really well together and we all love each other.” 

SDSU will be the No. 6 seed and face No. 11 Utah State in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament, which starts March 1 in Las Vegas.

“In February I think we won six out of the last nine and two of those losses were in the single digits.” Terry-Hutson said. “I think we’re playing good basketball right now so I’m excited to see what we travel with to Vegas.”

Men’s Basketball Wins Home Finale

On Tuesday, February 25, San Diego State played their final home game of the season and honored three players. As part of senior night KJ Feagin, Nolan Narain, and Yanni Wetzell were celebrated before tipoff against Colorado State.

“We didn’t want another one, [loss] especially on senior night.” Junior Matt Mitchell said, “We wanted to get our seniors out with a win.”

The Aztecs beat the Rams 66-60 in their home finale to improve to 27-1. The team wanted to send their seniors out on the right note, but cold shooting nearly doomed the Aztecs. This was their second straight game of making less than 40% of their shots from the field.

“When Malachi [Flynn] is 0-for-6 from the field and he’s your best player it’s going to be a struggle,” Head coach Brian Dutcher said, “The thing I like about our team is, we can still win when we don’t shoot the ball well because our defense is so good.”

San Diego state shot 35% for the game and 33% from three point land. Strong defense, especially in the second half propelled the Aztecs to their 27th victory on the season.

“We didn’t want to lose two in a row,” Junior Malachi Flynn said. “We buckled down on the defensive end and people made shots.”

With 57 seconds left, Rams’ guard Isaiah Stevens made two free throws, which cut the Aztecs’ lead to just two. After a stop by the Aztecs, and a stop by the Rams, a jump ball was called and possession was awarded to the Aztecs. 

CSU was forced to intentionally foul Mitchell, who made two free throws to ice the game and begin a new winning streak for the Aztecs. He finished with 15 points and the Aztecs made 17-of-20 free throws on Tuesday night.

SDSU’s defense kept them in the game, as the Rams only made 28% of their second half shots and went 1-for-10 from the three point line. In the first half, the Rams shot 50% but still only led 36-34 entering the second half.

Jordan Schakel started off the second half with a steal and a lay up, then he hit a three pointer to give the Aztecs a 57-56 lead with just over four minutes remaining. He finished with 11 points and four rebounds.

Flynn’s first field goal didn’t come until five minutes into the second half, however he made a big time three pointer with three minutes remaining to extend the lead 62-56. Flynn ended the game with 17 points.

 The Aztecs bench was outscored by 10 points after 20 minutes and they allowed 14 points inside the paint during the half. SDSU allowed 24 points in the paint for the game, but their bench ended up outscoring the Rams by three.

Mitchell scored 13 points in the first half, but his teammates struggled from the field during the half. SDSU made 35.7% of their first half shots and went 6-for-17 from three point land. Flynn was 0-for-6 in the first half and 0-for-4 from deep in the half. He finished the game 4-for-14. 

The Aztecs will play at Nevada on Saturday before embarking on the Mountain West tournament in Las Vegas. 

Written by: Daniel Farr

Men’s Basketball 26-Game Win Streak Snapped

San Diego State men’s basketball team had their 26 game winning streak snapped on Saturday at Viejas arena. The Runnin’ Rebels stunned the Aztecs 66-63.

“We tasted defeat for the first time and it doesn’t taste very good,” Head coach Brian Dutcher said.

In the final seconds, junior Matt Mitchell shot near half court and it missed. It would’ve sent the game into overtime.

“This one loss is a reality check.” Mitchell said, “It shows we’re not invincible.”

Mitchell finished with 13 points on 37.5% shooting.

SDSU men’s basketball led for less than two minutes the entire game, it was their cold shooting in the first half which put them too far behind.

They shot 33% in the first half and 2-for-12 from three point range.

“UNLV played a very good first half.” Dutcher said, “They shot 57% from the field, almost 50% from three and created a big enough lead where they got comfortable.”

The Aztecs were averaging 74.3 points per game when playing conference opponents like the Runnin’ Rebels, but today their offense was stagnant.

Junior Malachi Flynn led the Aztecs in points, assists and rebounds, but even his late game heroics weren’t enough on Saturday.

With just over two minutes remaining, Flynn hit a three pointer and it cut the UNLV lead to six. He then made two free throws and cut the lead to only four. 

After Flynn’s late game free throws, sophomore Aguek Arop blocked a Runnin’ Rebel layup and then scored a layup on the other side of the floor.

It brought the Aztecs within just two points. 

The Aztecs were forced to intentionally foul and it sent Elijah Mitrou-Long to the line and he didn’t miss. Mitrou-Long shot 78% from the line and hit timely free-throws down the stretch. 

On SDSU’s next possession Flynn hit another three pointer and it made the game 64-63, Rebels.

However Mitrou-Long was intentionally fouled yet again and he hit two more free throws to nearly ice the game.

“We lost and it’s the first time it happened,” Flynn said, “It doesn’t feel good.”

As for the Aztecs and their ranking, this loss will likely drop them from No. 4 in the nation. 

“Time will tell, we’ll see soon enough.” Dutcher said. “We have to get off it, we have to win our next game and we have to keep winning games. The only thing we can control is our own performance. We can’t control where people decide to put us in the poll.”

The Aztecs didn’t get the production they are used to from Yanni Wetzell. The big man shot 1-for-6 from the free throw line and scored only seven points.

Senior KJ Feagin also struggled to find the bottom of the net. He only scored five points and shot 25% from the field. It was a night where the Aztecs shot 29% from three and 38.9% for the game.

They’ll play again at Viejas Arena for senior night on Feb. 25 at 8 p.m.

Written by: Daniel Farr

SDSU Lacrosse Wins Home Opener

San Diego State’s lacrosse team played their first home game of the 2020 campaign on Thursday afternoon against Arizona State University. The Aztecs won a thrilling back and forth game 19-18. 

Freshman Camdyn O’Donnell tied the game at 18 for the Aztecs, then with less than a minute remaining, she scored the game-winning goal. O’Donnell finished with four goals and three assists on Thursday. 

“We were going back and forth,” O’Donnell said. “My teammates had trust in me and that put confidence in myself.”

SDSU started the game down 3-0, but ended up taking the lead 4-3. Later, SDSU trailed 9-6 and 10-8 at halftime. 

“I think we played it close in the first half to our gameplan.” Head coach Kylee White said. “We really were missing some key things and that’s what we re-visited at halftime.” 

Out of the halftime break, the Aztecs scored four unanswered goals and led 12-10. However, the Sun Devils would not go down quietly.

 Led by red-shirt senior Kerri Clayton, ASU retook a 14-12 lead. Then led 18-16 with only two minutes left in the game. Clayton finished with six goals and three assists. 

“We wanted to push her [Clayton] under instead of letting her get open and take the shot she was scoring on.” White said, “We wanted to make them pass a little more. We needed to help a lot more.”

The Aztecs responded yet again, scoring three unanswered goals to finish off their home-opener. Senior Emily Resnick scored the teams 17th goal and O’Donnell finished the off the job.

“They gutted it out.” White said, “Home-opener is great, but that’s not what i’m thinking about. To win a back and forth battle and where it comes down to the end and they gutted it out, that’s the most exciting part of it.”

SDSU Junior Lexi Tan scored six goals on six shots and opened up the field for her teammates.

“It was all my teammates, they were passing to me.” Tan said, “I just looked and it was wideopen.” 

The Aztecs will have a difficult schedule, likely facing five nationally ranked teams during the 2020 campaign. 

SDSU lacrosse now sits at 1-1, with their one loss coming against Stanford University.

“The team that showed up today has to be the same on Sunday.” White said. “Just because USC is ranked shouldn’t change the way we play. We need to go in there feeling that way instead of the way we started against Stanford.”

Written by: Daniel Farr