When shots aren’t falling in from the outside, there’s a natural inclination for most basketball players: Start bringing the shots in closer.
That’s what the San Diego State men’s basketball team did on Saturday night in its 83-73 win against the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs.
After shooting 31.3 percent from the field in each of the last two games and a combined 6-for-40 from 3-point range, SDSU made an effort to play from the inside out.
Senior forward Tim Shelton scored only four points, but when the Aztecs threw the ball in to him he made good decisions, which was evident by his four assists. Junior forward DeShawn Stephens had an impressive performance, along with more touches, as he scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
“We were looking to go inside a lot more today,” junior guard Chase Tapley said. “DeShawn and Garrett (and Tim Shelton) were able to finish some nice buckets.”
The inside play led to an improved offensive game for SDSU, which shot 50.8 percent and coincidentally made seven 3-pointers, one more than the last two games combined.
“We threw it into (DeShawn) from the perimeter and we threw it in to Garrett from the perimeter,” SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said. “We scored off of it, we scored some in-the-paint baskets from our post players, which is important to do.”
Fisher said he made it a point of emphasis with his players to get the ball to the big men.
“We also talked about how we have to throw the ball into the post players,” Fisher said. “Because we hadn’t been throwing it in. That was as much on me as it was on anybody, but we talked about it and they did a good job tonight.”
Although the trio of senior forward Garrett Green, Stephens and Shelton combined for 24 points on 15 shot attempts, scoring wasn’t the only statistic they had an impact on. They helped in the rebounding department, too. Stephens had a game-high five offensive rebounds and helped the Aztecs claim a plus-14 edge on the boards.