Steal, lay-up, repeat. That’s the formula the San Diego State Aztecs used Saturday afternoon at Moby Arena to crush the CSU women’s basketball team 76-56 – a loss that extended the Rams’ record losing streak to 18.
The Aztecs (15-12, 6-9) scored their first 17 points off CSU turnovers, helping them build a 23-point halftime lead that was never threatened, even though the Rams (2-25, 0-14) outscored the Aztecs in the second half, 35-32.
SDSU’s high-pressure backcourt tandem of Quenese Davis and Jene Morris each stole the ball seven times, equating for almost half of CSU’s 29 total turnovers.
Davis and Morris used many of those 14 steals to get easy transition baskets, as they each scored a game-high 19 points.
“That’s just how we play-pressure up and make them turn the ball over,” Davis said.
CSU senior guard Sarah Hunter, who scored a team-high 13 points, said the high number of turnovers for the Rams was partly caused by a lack of focus and party by the Aztecs’ suffocating defense.
“They’re definitely one of the most athletic teams in the conference,” Hunter said. “. We knew we had to take care of the ball.”
The Aztecs rank first in the conference in steals per game with 12.56 and turnover margin at +5.63.
Every Ram but Kelly Rae Finley, who played only two minutes before suffering a moderate concussion after colliding with teammate Amaka Uzomah, had at least one turnover.
The status of Finley, along with guard Emily Neal, who suffered a left ankle sprain, was uncertain after the game.
“Obviously you’re going to have a very difficult time not only winning a game but competing in one when you give up 17 more possessions,” CSU coach Jen Warden said.
The 25th loss of the season for the Rams extended a program record for most defeats in one season.
But things could be worse.
Also on Saturday, the Fordham’s women’s basketball team set an NCAA record by becoming the first team to lose 29 games in one season. Also nicknamed the Rams, Fordham lost 66-27 to No. 15 George Washington to finish the season 0-29, breaking the previous record for losses in one season of 28, set originally by Charleston in 1990-91 and matched by Centenary in 1999-2000.
The Rams now have only two more chances to pick up their first conference win of the season, starting with Wednesday’s home game against first-place Utah.
“We just got to keep our heads up,” Hunter, who will be honored Wednesday as part of Senior Night, said.
Tip is set for 7 p.m.
Sports Editor Sean Star can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.