By Kai LoRusso
The SDSU Women’s Basketball team is experiencing a resurgence in the 2022-2023 season. Not since since the days of former Coach Beth Burns have the Aztecs experienced such excitement about the program.
That is surely saying something considering Burns took the program to 7 NCAA tournaments, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2010.
The Aztecs this season are off to an 11-3 start with notable victories over Sacramento State, Portland and most recently a dominating win over crosstown rival USD.
Their only 3 losses came on the road at #2 Stanford, at University of San Francisco and to the Georgia Bulldogs in the West Palm Beach Invitational.
The Aztecs opened up Mountain West play last Saturday with an 89-55 thrashing on the road of Utah State. SDSU is looking strong and should improve greatly on their 15-16 record from a year ago.
Currently the Aztecs are #76 in the NET rankings which is 3rd best in the Mountain West just behind Colorado State and UNLV. If they continue to rack up wins, the Aztecs could be in contention for a conference regular season title and an at-large bid to March Madness.
The 2022-2023 squad might be the strongest and deepest team assembled by Head Coach Stacie Terry-Hutson in her 10 years as head coach on Montezuma Mesa. The scoring is balanced with no player averaging more than 11 points per game. In their blowout win over Utah State, five Aztecs scored in double figures with three more totaling at least 7 points.
As much as the men’s team gets praise for their defense, the Aztecs women’s team may be the better defensive unit. Terry-Hutson’s team are locking down their opponents: allowing them to shoot a meager 35% overall and 27% from distance.
Leading the way are a trio of sharpshooting guards in sophomore Asia Avinger and seniors Mercedes Staples & Sophia Ramos. They can light it up from distance- averaging over 42% from beyond the 3 point arc.
Per the GoAztecs website, Ramos is the only player in NCAA women’s basketball with 1,700 points, 600 rebounds and 450 assists in her career.
Avinger, whose 2 brothers Lucky & Noah play on the Aztec football team, is an ankle breaker and the Aztecs best playmaker on offense. She leads the team in scoring at 11.9 points per game.
Down low Yummy Morris, a grad transfer from TCU, and junior Kim Villalobos rule the paint with great defense, rebounding and post play. Villalobos leads the team in rebounding at over 5 per game. Morris meanwhile has received Mountain West Player of the Week honors this season.
The Aztecs generate really good production off of their bench in seniors Abby Prohaska, Alex Crain, Sarah Barcello and sophomore Khylee Pepe. Prohaska, a transfer from Notre Dame, is averaging 9.5 ppg and 4.2 boards. She also hits 90% of her foul shots.
Another key contributor Meghan Fiso, is a transfer from Michigan and in her junior season. Fiso started out the season on a hot streak including scoring 9 in a losing effort at Stanford, but has been out since the UCSD game in early December.
The Aztecs next host 4-8 Nevada at Viejas Arena on Thursday at 5pm followed by a showdown with 12-2 UNLV at home on Saturday at 1pm. Wins against both schools would help the Aztecs climb in the rankings and give them the conference lead in the standings.
Please come out & support your Aztecs. This team is lit and plays an exciting brand of basketball. Go Aztecs!
Enjoy this article? Be sure to watch the Kiss The Rings crew’s podcast interview with the all-time scoring and rebound leader in SDSU Basketball history, Judy Porter-Wonders.