San Diego State Preview

By Grant Dovey for
March 22, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas - West Virginia women's basketball coach Mike Carey traveled to Austin worried about having to play the No. 6-seeded Texas Longhorns in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Carey is now however, worried about dealing with the No. 11-seeded San Diego Aztecs, who defeated Texas, for the second-straight season, by a score of 74-63 on Sunday night at the Frank Erwin Center, Texas' home floor.

  WVU practiced on Monday afternoon at the Frank Erwin Center.
Allison Toffle photo

“We had an opportunity last night to look at film on San Diego and study that and then go with the team today,” Carey said. “They're a very good basketball team, great quickness, great size, transition, offensive transition is very good, and they can score and take you off the dribble. We're going to have our hands full.”

The Aztecs play very similar to the Mountaineers in that they like to run the floor and play very defensive-minded basketball. West Virginia scores an average of 63.1 points per game, while San Diego State averages 65.7 points per game. Opponents average 51.5 against WVU, while opponents average 57.9 against SDSU.

The Mountaineers are now 27-0 when holding teams under 60 points this season, while the Aztecs stand at 16-1 in the same category.

“I started watching West Virginia in the middle of the year because I just saw their record and they're moving up in the rankings,” San Diego State coach Beth Burns said. “I hadn't seen them play and I was really impressed.

“Our team will tell you, I love people who love to guard people. I think between the two coaches, the score tomorrow night might be 2-1 if we have our druthers.”

Like Lamar, San Diego State is led by a transfer, Jene Morris, who transferred from Cal and averages 16.9 points per game and has swiped 96 steals. Morris most notably lit up Texas on Sunday night for 32 points on an impressive 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc in 31 minutes of play. This was the second time that Morris had scored 30-plus points in a tournament game. Morris scored 35 in an upset against DePaul last season in the tournament.

“She's pretty good. She has great size too, great quickness,” Carey said of Morris. “I notice on the defensive end she looked for a lot of steals, and if she doesn't get them, she kind of leaks out a little bit. In the half-court set, they set a lot of on-ball picks for her, try to get her to the ball and let her attack.”

Quenese Davis averages 13.0 points per game, followed by Paris Johnson who scores an average of 11.3. Jessika Bradley at 6-3 and Johnson at 6-4 run an athletic post and are 1-2 in rebounding, West Virginia however will like to continue their rebounding onslaught against the Aztecs as it out-rebounded Lamar, 48-28.

West Virginia will likely look to counter the Aztec post players with junior Madina Ali and freshman Asya Bussie.

Junior Sarah Miles, who will be continuing her Texas homecoming tour, will most likely be placed on Morris. Miles did a tremendous job on Lamar's Jenna Plumley on Sunday night. Miles was able to hold Plumley to 3-of-11 shooting for only nine points, while Plumley also had seven turnovers and ultimately fouled out.

“They're definitely good shooting the ball and also off the dribble,” Miles said. “That's something we're going to have to stop penetration and just making the shots tougher for the guards because the majority of the scoring comes from the guards.”

The game will be televised on ESPN2 at 9:40 p.m. and will once again be commentated by Carter Blackburn and LaChina Robinson. Travis Jones will be on the call for the MSN radio broadcast.

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