WBB Review: Stubbs Scores 22, But Aggies Fall To Red-Hot Aztecs
5 min read

WBB Review: Stubbs Scores 22, But Aggies Fall To Red-Hot Aztecs

Utah State picked up another big scoring performance from Cheyenne Stubbs, but couldn't keep up with San Diego State as it notched a new season-high in a 90-62 beatdown. WBB Review:
WBB Review: Stubbs Scores 22, But Aggies Fall To Red-Hot Aztecs
Photo via San Diego State Athletics

SAN DIEGO – After a grueling 40 minutes, Utah State picked up its fifth loss in a row, its 21st on the season, and its 13th in conference play. The Aggies were never really up to make any sort of run and were not competitive throughout their 90-62 loss at San Diego State, as the Aztecs completed their season sweep of Utah State.

San Diego State posted a season-high output on offense, which has been a common occurrence for teams that play Utah State this season. The Aztecs advance to 17-10 (8-6) while the Aggies fall to 4-21 (1-13) on the year.

The Aztecs welcomed the Aggies to the contest with a 9-0 run. A quick six points in a row from Macy Smith, which she earned from a trip to the free-throw line and a three-pointer just a play later, gave the illusion of a tight game early, though it didn’t last. Even with a three from Skye Miller to bring the Aggies within one at 10-9 a minute later, they couldn’t get any further traction and trailed 21-15 after one frame.

The first quarter set an ugly precedent with SDSU shooting nearly 60 percent from the field and winning the rebounding battle handily, and it stuck. Utah State barely picked up the pace in the second quarter, while the Aztecs accelerated only slightly because necessity did not call for much more than that.

The Aggies were outscored 18-9 through the first six minutes and change of the period, capped off with six-straight SDSU points, and head coach Kayla Ard had seen enough. Utah State called a timeout to stop San Diego State's run, which worked, at least momentarily. The Aggies came out of the timeout with a Bridget Mullings layup, a steal from Tiairra-Hill Brown and a triple from Cheyenne Stubbs to bring the Aggies within 10. They gave up a turnaround jumper from Adryana Quezada, which was answered by a Hill-Brown three to make it a nine-point game, the closest it would be the rest of the way.

The Aztecs closed the half with a Jada Lewis three-pointer and an Adryana Quezada steal that she converted into a layup, taking a score 46-32 into the break.

Perhaps guided by some misplaced hopes of getting to close up shop and head home a quarter early, the Aztecs used a strong third quarter to ensure the Aggies wouldn't make a game of it late. San Diego State relied on the hot hands of Kim Villalobos and Lewis, both of whom were playing incredibly well, to pull out into a very comfortable edge.

By way of assists or scoring, Villalobos was responsible for eight of the first 10 Aztec points in the quarter. Lewis, using the same mechanisms, was responsible for nine of their first 13.

The first two buckets were Lewis three pointers assisted by Villalobos, broken up by a Samiana Suguturaga layup in between. Stubbs followed that ordeal with a three-pointer, then Quezada hit a pair of free throws. At this point, Villalobos got herself involved again, this time doing the scoring herself after grabbing a defensive board and cashing it in on the other end. Allyzee Verdan hit a layup, which was answered immediately by an assist from Lewis to Mia Davis, the star of the night, who knocked down a three to give the Aztecs a 20-point lead.

Even after taking care of business in the third, the Aztecs didn’t get to go home early, though they probably could have without much issue. They had already amassed 73 points, 11 more than the Aggies would earn by the end of regulation. At any rate, the Aztecs did score in the fourth quarter, though much less intentionally and less often than in the first three frames.

Even as San Diego State let off the gas entirely, Utah State couldn’t chip away at the lead. The Aggies were outscored 17-13 in the final quarter as the game slowed to a crawl over the final 10 minutes of play, and fell 90-62 as the final buzzer rang out.

The Aggies were marred by an unassuming yet familiar foe. Once again, Davis got up for her game against the Aggies. The freshman, who averages just 4.1 points a game in her career, came off the bench and put a team-high 17 points on Utah State's defense. In her two games against USU, she's scored 18 and 17 points, averaging more than four times her season average. She added five rebounds and two assists as well, shooting 6 of 11 from the field and 3 of 7 from deep. It's not entirely clear what the Phoenix native has against the No. 11 team in the Mountain West.

Following close behind Davis was a host of Aztecs, starting with Abby Prohaska at 16 points. She is no stranger to high-scoring games, and added seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block to her performance. Lewis did all her damage from behind the arc and went 5 of 7 from deep. She only attempted one two-pointer and did not visit the free-throw line. She had 15 points, a rebound, two assists and a steal.

The former Aggie, Quezada had a nice game as well, though not as explosive as the one she logged in Logan. She scored 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting with a 5-of-6 day at the line. She completed a double-double with 10 rebounds and also had a steal and two blocks.

Villalobos did it all against the Aggies, and, despite coming up about a bucket short of her scoring average, she made Utah State feel her presence every time she was on the court. She had eight points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block. Her scoring efficiency was nearly perfect as she went 4 of 5 from the field, though she did miss her one free throw attempt.

For Utah State, it was Stubbs leading the way by a long shot. She came up with 22 points, firmly shelving any concerns of a slump. She shot 8 of 22 from the field, 5 of 12 from beyond the arc, grabbed four rebounds and pitched in a pair of assists and steals.

Smith, who has been coming into her own as a scorer lately, added another solid game to her resume. She had 11 points, three rebounds and an assist, shooting 2 of 6 from the field, 2 of 3 from behind the arc, and a perfect 5 of 5 from the stripe. It was her third 10-plus-point performance in four games, and she is now averaging 11.3 points in that span – a welcome upward trend from her 5.6 PPG on the season.

Miller, who hadn’t played recently due to injury, welcomed herself back into the lineup with a strong performance. She came off the bench and had nine points, five rebounds, and an assist.

For its next game, Utah State will head north, from San Diego to Silicon Valley for its second and final leg of this west coast trip. The Aggies will face a vulnerable San Jose State team, but with plenty of problems of their own, they will once again have their hands full. The Spartans are 6-19 (1-12) and are battling an 11-game losing streak. Their lone MWC win came, naturally, in Logan on Jan. 6.

Parker Ballantyne covers Utah State women's basketball for The Aggship. You can follow him on Twitter at @PShark14 for updates on the Aggies.