SDSU Mountain West NCAA
Aztec Mercedes Staples. Photo credit: goaztecs.com

San Diego State, off to a hot start, travels to Florida Tuesday to play in the West Palm Beach Invitational Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Aztecs, at 9-2, are enjoying the best beginning to a SDSU women’s hoops season in 27 years (1995-96), which included a seven-game win streak through Dec. 4, when they lost to San Francisco.

“I’m excited about where we are, and happy with the defensive effort we’ve been able to put out on the floor, and our offense is coming along each week,” said head coach Stacie Terry-Hutson.

They’ve won two straight, including a Dec. 10 victory at home over the University of San Diego, heading into the tournament.

Their matchups: Miami (Ohio; 4-6) at 9 a.m. Tuesday and Georgia (10-2) at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Terry-Hutson called the games “two good tests for us.”

One addition to the team, Mercedes Staples, a second-year transfer from Minnesota, the coach said, has been a pleasant surprise on defense.

“I don’t think she was known as a defender,” Terry-Hutson said. “But we’ve turned her into our defensive stopper. Mercedes has the responsibility of guarding the best guard on the floor. So she’s really bought in.”

Staples, for her part, explains that she understands her role, on defense and as a and scorer. The coaching staff makes their parts clear to her and her teammates, she said.

“So I mean, all of us having our roles and knowing our roles, we are able to be more
successful,” the senior said.

SDSU finished fifth in the preseason Mountain West poll, with UNLV, New Mexico and Colorado State expected to be the top teams in the conference.

Yet the Aztecs trail only UNLV (8-1), last year’s regular season and tournament champions, in the current MW standings. They open league play Dec. 29 against Boise State.



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Ellen Bullock