San Diego State's front line of Chana Perry (6-feet 4-inches), Brooke Meadows (6-4) and Jessica Haynes (6-0) proved too tall for Texas El Paso in a first-round game of the Dial Soap Women's Collegiate basketball tournament Tuesday night in SDSU's Peterson Gym.
The Aztecs outrebounded UTEP, whose tallest player is 6-foot center Lisa Watson, 50-18, en route to a 79-68 victory that raised their record to 5-2. SDSU will meet Kansas in today's tournament championship game at 1 p.m. Kansas defeated Texas A&M, 72-55, in Tuesday night's first game.
San Diego State's size was also responsible for a 34-7 edge in free-throw attempts. SDSU continually worked the ball low, forcing UTEP to foul, and made 25 of 34 shots from the line.
The Aztecs led, 31-28, four minutes before halftime when reserve forward Stephanie Lamar drew fouls on four consecutive trips down the floor. Lamar made eight consecutive free throws to put SDSU ahead, 39-28.
The Aztecs opened a 62-42 lead midway through the second half before UTEP (4-9) rallied. The Miners closed within 73-66 on a three-point shot by Terri Powell with two minutes left. Powell made 5 of 6 three-pointers and finished with 24 points.
But Meadows scored a pair of baskets to restore the Aztecs' lead to 77-66 with a minute remaining. Perry led all scorers with 25. Haynes had 19, and Meadows added 13.
In the first game, Kansas went on a 13-0 run early in the second half to snap a 43-43 tie and went on to beat Texas A&M. Deborah Richardson scored 17 points to lead the Jayhawks (7-2), and Mesha Stroughter added 16. Jackie Martin had 12 points and 16 rebounds for Kansas.
Eve Sanders led Texas A&M (4-3) with 14 points. Donna Roper added 13.
Tracy Ragatz scored 17 points to lead UC San Diego to a 67-43 victory over the College of Notre Dame in a consolation semifinal game of the UCSD tournament.
Nadirah Scott and Chris McCallum scored 16 points each for UCSD (3-7). Notre Dame's Danielle Stieber led all scorers with 19 points.
UCSD will play Cal State San Bernardino, which beat Colorado College, 70-50, in the consolation finals today at 4.
Wisconsin-LaCrosse and St. Ambrose will meet for the championship at 8 p.m. In the semifinals, St. Ambrose beat the University of Scranton, 77-56, and Wisconsin-LaCrosse beat Salem State, 75-62.