Akil Simpson scored a season-high 20 points at SDSU.
Dec. 28, 2012
SAN DIEGO (SMU) - Keena Mays scored a game-high 26 points and Akil Simpson added 20 points with eight rebounds for the Mustangs, but Chelsea Hopkins finished with a triple-double to lead San Diego State to an 88-72 win over SMU in the first round of the Surf `N Slam Classic in San Diego.
Mays went 7-of-17 from the field, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range, to eclipse 20 points for the third time in four games, and Simpson went 8-of-16 to reach double figures for the third straight game with a season high. Alisha Filmore added 11 to give SMU three players with at least 10 points.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs (8-4), the Aztecs (8-3) also had three players in double digits, led by Hopkins, who finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Courtney Clements had 21 points, and Erimma Amarikwa added 13 points with five rebounds. SDSU shot 56.3 percent, 36-of-64, for the game to hold off the Mustangs, who finished the game shooting 39.0 percent, 23-of-59.
Mays had 22 points in the first half, but the Mustangs found themselves trailing 46-34 at the break. Simpson and Filmore got hot in the second half as the SDSU defensive pressure increased on Mays. After the Aztecs stretched the lead to 18 early in the second, the Mustangs cut in half after Filmore converted the and-one opportunity, capping off an 11-2 run to get SMU within 10 for the first time since midway through the first, 64-55 with 10:48 left in the game.
San Diego State countered with a 5-0 run, hitting a three on the next possession and a Clements steal led to a fastbreak layup to push the lead back to 14. The Mustangs were unable to get the deficit back to single digits, despite battling to the final buzzer.
The Mustangs will face either Harvard or No. 14 Oklahoma State in the second round of the tournament in the Viejas Arena on the campus of San Diego State Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.