Devin Watson scored 26 factors, Malik Pope blocked 4 photographs and grabbed 9 rebounds, and the Aztecs defeated the Toreros sixty six-fifty seven on Thursday night time within the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Enjoying with out senior guard Trey Kell, the Aztecs acquired off to a comparatively sluggish begin. They trailed 7-6 going into the primary media timeout of the sport with little or no stream on both aspect of the ball. Popping out of the timeout, although, they have been capable of lock in defensively. Within the recreation’s subsequent 9 minutes, San Diego State didn’t permit the Toreros to make a subject aim. The robust protection ignited a 21-6 run that allowed Brian Dutcher’s staff to take a 14-level lead with four:05 to play within the first half.
The Toreros have been in a position to determine the Aztecs’ protection a bit within the remaining minutes, as they minimize the deficit to eight (30-22) going into the break.
USD solely shot 27.three % within the first half; a season-low. The 22 factors was a season-low for Lamont Smith’s group as properly.
The Toreros have been capable of minimize the Aztecs result in 4 popping out of halftime, when Isaiah Wright knocked down a 3 in transition with sixteen:04 to play. Nevertheless, that might be the closest they might get within the contest.
Following a timeout by Brian Dutcher, San Diego State promptly went on a 9-2 run to increase the lead again as much as double-digits. With a double-digit lead, the Aztecs held the Toreros at an arm’s size away within the recreation’s last 13 minutes. The Aztecs ended up outscoring the Toreros 36-35 within the half.
For the Aztecs, it was the Devin Watson present all night time lengthy. With Trey Kell nursing an ankle damage, the fourth yr junior took management of the offense and performed all forty minutes. He ended up with 26 factors (7-eleven capturing), three rebounds, one help, and 5 steals. He solely turned the ball over as soon as.
“I simply had it going… I used to be in a rhythm offensively. It simply labored for me tonight,” Watson stated following the efficiency.
Questionable earlier than he went by means of pregame warmups and was deemed good to go, Malik Pope crammed the stat sheet. Whereas he solely scored six factors, the senior ahead led all gamers with 9 rebounds, set a profession-excessive with 4 blocks, had two steals, and dished out two assists. He was in all places on the defensive aspect of the ball, particularly within the first half. It was a valiant efficiency.
Kameron Rooks additionally performed an enormous position defensively. The 7’1″ massive man scored six factors, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked two photographs.
Beginning instead of Trey Kell, Jeremy Hemsley scored thirteen factors. Matt Mitchell didn’t miss a shot all night time, going four-four for thirteen factors.
The Aztecs (6-2) solely recorded six assists, however shot forty seven% on the night time. Additionally they have been capable of capitalize on seventy five% of their free throws (21-28) and win the rebounding battle (37-31).
In the meantime, Toreros (5-1) shot 37.7% from the sector and had hassle from three-level land all night time lengthy. They missed some attractiveness and solely shot 7-30 (23.7%) from three.
USD was led by Isaiah Pineiro, who scored 19 factors on eight/18 capturing. Olin Carter III (12 factors) and Isaiah Wright (10 factors) have been the one different Toreros in double figures.
The Aztecs improved their report in Jenny Craig Pavilion to 10-eight, and have additionally gained eleven out of the previous 12 video games versus their in-metropolis rivals.
The Aztecs return to the Mesa to tackle Bradley College on December three.
The Toreros will head to UC Santa Barbara to play the Guachos on December 2.
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