Aztecs Aim to Keep Upsets Going

Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010  |  Updated 6:31 AM PDT
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Aztecs Aim to Keep Upsets Going

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Aztec fans cheer in Vegas at the MWC final.

San Diego State nudged its way into the NCAA tournament. Then the Aztecs dazzled their way through the first two rounds.

Now they're moving on to Graceland, where senior guards Jene Morris and Quenese Davis are hoping to keep the upsets going.

The Aztecs, the No. 11 seed in the Memphis Regional, are the lowest seed still playing after knocking off No. 3 West Virginia 64-55 in the second round Tuesday night.

San Diego State needed to win the Mountain West Conference tourney just to get into the NCAA tournament and is now in the round of 16 for the first time.

"It means an awful lot to an awful lot of people," said coach Beth Burns, who led the Aztecs from 1989-97, then left for Ohio State before coming back in 2005.

Next up for the Aztecs (23-10) is ACC champion and No. 2 seed Duke (29-5).

"All you need is a chance," Burns said. "You get a chance, you get a stage, then you have to do something with it ... I didn't have a problem with being an 11-seed. I was quite happy to be invited to the party. We'll come in the front door, the back door, climb in the basement window."

The Aztecs earned plenty of respect for what they did in Austin.

First, they beat No. 6 Texas on the Longhorns' home court, taking the crowd of it with a big first half and 32 points by Morris.

Then, Morris scored 27 points and Davis had 19 against a tough West Virginia team that set a school record for victories and finished runner-up to Connecticut in the Big East.

The Aztecs guards were simply all over the place and the Mountaineers couldn't keep up. Davis even tied the team high with eight rebounds.

"They had two guards as good as any I've seen in the Big East," West Virginia coach Mike Carey said. "Especially Morris. She's as good as any guard I've seen this year."

Morris scored six points in a 8-0 San Diego State run late in the second half after West Virginia had rallied to tie it 47-47.

Liz Repella scored 17 points and Sarah Miles scored 15 for the Mountaineers (29-6), who once again failed to get past the second round.

San Diego State led 36-25 early in the second before West Virginia slowly pulled its way back.

Miles tied it on a layup with 5 minutes left. But Repella air-balled a go-ahead 3-pointer on the next possession and the Aztecs put together the decisive run.

"At that point me and Quenese said to each other this is our last chance. We fought hard to make it to this point and there's now way we're leaving with a loss," Morris said.

After Repella's miss, Morris hit a mid-range jumper and followed it with a layup. Coco Davis hit a jumper that bounced up and in just before the shot clock expired, and Morris took a nifty pass underneath from Jessika Bradley and finished with another tough layup. San Diego State led 55-47 with 2:16 to play.

West Virginia tried to foul in an attempt to get back in the game and twice got within four. Quenese Davis made three of four free throws and Morris made four in a row to finish it out.

West Virginia, which struggled to shoot in the first half, hit 55 percent in the second to rally. But the rebounding that dominated Lamar in the first round wasn't there. The Aztecs held a 34-31 edge on the boards and also forced the Mountaineers into 16 turnovers.

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