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Madness on the Mesa 2012

Follow the men's and women's basketball teams during their run through the post season.
The women's team celebrates winning the Mountain West Conference tournament. Photo by Ernie Anderson
The women's team celebrates winning the Mountain West Conference tournament. Photo by Ernie Anderson

Aztecs Unable To Complete The Upset In 64-56 Loss At LSU
March 18, 2012

The 12th-seeded San Diego State women's basketball team led by seven points four times in the second half, but could not overcome a near seven-minute scoring drought, as host and fifth-seeded LSU rallied to claim a 64-56 victory Sunday at the Maravich Center. With the loss, the Aztecs ended their campaign at 25-7 overall, while the Lady Tigers improved to 23-10 and move on to the NCAA second round to face Penn State on Tuesday.

SDSU was led by Courtney Clements' (Long Beach, Calif.) 17 points, including 14 in the first half, and Chelsea Hopkins' (Las Vegas, Nev.) 16 points and seven assists. In the final game of her collegiate career, senior Kalena Tutt (Long Beach, Calif.) contributed six points, six rebounds and three steals. Junior Kiyana Stamps (Moreno Valley, Calif.) recorded seven points and freshman Khristina Hunter (Fairfield, Calif.) had six points and four boards in her NCAA debut. 

Aztecs Eliminated From Tourney With 79-65 Loss To NC State
March 16, 2012

Richard Howell doubled his average with 22 points, and 11th-seeded North Carolina State used its muscle inside and sticky defense to upset San Diego State 79-65 on Friday in a second-round East Regional game.

Jamaal Franklin had 23 points and Chase Tapley 19 for the Aztecs (26-8), regular-season champs of the Mountain West.

"We're very disappointed and yet immensely proud of the season that we've had and the program that these young men have helped built and grow," said head coach Steve Fisher.

"And I do think that the best will be yet to come. Yet today was difficult when it ended. We got beat by a very good team who has been playing very, very good basketball.

"That doesn't make it any easier on us coming up here first. But if you look at these three and the other seven in the locker room, they've given a lot to San Diego State and our program, and I said to them I thank you for that, and we don't forget."

Jamaal Franklin Named Nation's Most Improved Player 
March 13, 2012

San Diego State sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin has been named the nation's Most Improved Player by CBSSports.com.

The Hawthorne, Calif., native is averaging 17.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists for the back-to-back Mountain West regular-season champions. Franklin is also shooting 79.3 percent from the free-throw line and has registered 12 double-doubles, all of which have come in his last 19 outings. 

Aztecs To Face LSU In NCAA First Round On Sunday
3/12/12

The San Diego State women's basketball team earned its third NCAA tournament bid in the last four years and ninth in program history, as the 12th-seeded Aztecs will take on host and fifth-seeded LSU on Sunday, March 18, at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La., beginning at approximately 6:45 p.m. CT (4:45 p.m. PT). 

The winner of the SDSU-LSU game will play the winner of the No. 4 Penn State vs. No. 13 UTEP game on Tuesday, March 20, beginning at 8:30 p.m. CT (6:30 p.m. PT) for the chance to advance to the Sweet 16 and a spot in the Kingston (R.I.) regional, March 25 and 27. 

Join The Aztecs For 2012 NCAA Selection Show Monday
3/11/2012

Aztec fans are welcome to join the San Diego State women's basketball team for the 2012 NCAA tournament selection show on Monday, March 12, in the first-floor auditorium in the Fowler Athletics Center. The hour-long show begins at 4 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on ESPN.

San Diego State earned the league's automatic bid, after winning its second Mountain West tournament title with a 57-43 victory over New Mexico this past Saturday in Las Vegas. This is the third trip to the NCAA tournament for the Aztecs in the last four years and ninth in school history.

Parking is available in structure No. 5 off 55th street. Hourly permits must be purchased at the yellow kiosks inside the structure. 

No. 18/21 SDSU Earns a No. 6 Seed for NCAA Tourney
3/11/2012

After claiming a share of its second consecutive Mountain West Conference regular-season title, No. 22/23 (AP/Coaches)?San Diego State, the sixth-seeded team in the Midwest Region, opens NCAA Tournament play on Friday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio, against 11th-seeded North Carolina State.

The contest will be the first of four Friday games at Nationwide Arena and game time is set for 12:40 p.m. ET (9:40 a.m. PT). The contest will be shown nationally in high definition on truTV and is available on KOGO 95.7 FM and AM?600.

In the NCAA Tournament for a school-record third consecutive season, San Diego State owns a 26-7 record. The Aztecs are in the postseason for a seventh consecutive season, won at least 20 games for a seventh consecutive season, and are currently one of seven schools in the nation to have won at least 25 games each of the last four seasons.

Women's Hoops Wins MW Championship
3/10/2012

LAS VEGAS (AP) - As the first No. 7 seed to make the Mountain West Conference women's tournament championship game, the New Mexico Lobos did their best to hang with the San Diego State Aztecs.

After falling behind by 15 in the first half, the Lobos closed to four in the second half. It wasn't enough, though, as MWC Player of the Year Courtney Clements finished with 16 points and top-seeded San Diego State warmed up after a slow start to win the title 57-43 on Saturday.

No. 18 Aztecs Fall In Title Match With Lobos, 68-59
3/10/2012

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Tony Snell made four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 14 points, and Drew Gordon had 12 points and 12 rebounds as New Mexico overpowered top-seeded and No. 18 San Diego State 68-59 to win the Mountain West Conference tournament championship on Saturday night.

Aztecs Sweep Conference Awards
3/6/2012

The Mountain West conference regular basketball seasons came to a close this week with SDSU men's and women's teams capturing their conference championships. Monday evening, the conference announced its season awards and the Aztecs claimed the most coveted of those as well.

Sophomore Jamaal Franklin and Junior Courtney Clements were named 2012 men's and women's Conference Player-of-the-Year, respectively. Coaches Steve Fisher and Beth Burns were named 2012 men's and women's Coach-of-the-Year, respectively.

All Conference Selections

Franklin, also named to the all-MW first team, was joined by Chase Tapley, Tim Shelton and Xavier Thames on the list of all-league selections for SDSU. Tapley was voted to the all-conference second team and Shelton was named to the all-defensive team and was an honorable mention choice. Thames earned honorable mention status in his first year at San Diego State. This is the fourth consecutive year SDSU student athletes have earned all-conference honors.

Franklin is the second Aztec to garner Mountain West Player-of-the-Year honors and the first since Brandon Heath accomplished the feat in 2006. The 6 foot-5-inch guard is the third sophomore to capture the league's highest individual honor in MW history and is the first since Utah's Andrew Bogut in 2005. Franklin is also the first underclassman to win a league player-of-the-year award in school history.

Clements, who led the conference in scoring, becomes the first Aztec to be named Mountain West Player-of-the-Year in league history. She boasted an MW-best 17.9 points per conference outing and was also tops in free-throw shooting with a 95.2 mark, making 40 of her 42 chances, including 30 in a row. She has 12 20-point performances, eight coming in league action. Chelsea Hopkins is the third consecutive Aztec to be named the MW's top newcomer.

Clements and Chelsea Hopkins were both unanimously selected first-team all-conference, marking just the second time the Aztecs have had multiple first-team honorees (also 2008-09) in the same campaign.

The team's other three starters also garnered Mountain West honors, as junior center Malia Nahinu was a third-team all-conference pick, sophomore guard Kiyana Stamps earned honorable mention accolades and senior center Kalena Tutt was selected to the five-member all-defensive squad.

Coaching Accolades

Fisher wins Coach-of-the-Year honors for the second straight season after guiding the Aztecs to their second consecutive MW regular-season title. Fisher and San Diego State lost four starters and six letterwinners from last year's team and ended the season with a 10-4 record. This is the third time in SDSU history in which an Aztec head coach has been named conference coach of the year.

In the seventh season of her second stint on The Mesa, Burns has been a conference coach of the year five times with the Aztecs. The first three came when SDSU competed in the Western Athletic Conference in 1994, 1995 and 1996, and the fourth happened in 2009, when the squad went 24-8 overall and 13-3 to earn a share of the Mountain West regular-season crown. This year, Burns led the Aztecs to a 22-6 record, the outright league regular-season title and a No. 1 seed in this week's MW tournament. They also put together a 13-game midseason winning streak, including a perfect 7-0 run in the first half of league play, and were 13-1 on their home court. SDSU entered the year coming off a 12-17 campaign and six players on its 13-player roster did not compete in the Red & Black a year ago.

MW Conference Tournament

Both teams enter the Mountain West conference tournaments in Las Vegas this week as No. 1 seeds, starting Wednesday, when the women's team takes on Air Force at 12:05 p.m. The men's team will play Boise State noon Thursday.

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