It was as if the ball did not want to go into the basket. Much like their games against Syracuse, San Diego Christian and Missouri State, the No. 25 Aztecs struggled to make outside jumpers.
But unlike those previous games, San Diego State University eventually found its shooting stroke. After starting 3 of 17 from the floor, including 0 of 6 from three-point land and scoring six points in the first 11 minutes of the game, the Aztecs made nine of their next 13 shots, including six of their next seven three-point attempts to jump out to a 36-14 halftime lead. The 14 points allowed in the first half were the least since SDSU allowed 13 points to the University of Wyoming on Jan. 19, 2008.
The Aztecs continued to dominate in the second half, leading by as many 36 points at one point. Junior guard Jamaal Franklin and senior guard Chase Tapley led the Aztecs with 15 points apiece. Franklin also pulled down 12 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double and the 16th of his career.
The schedule became more difficult for SDSU as the Aztecs traveled to the Galen Center at the University of Southern California to battle the Trojans last night. Last season, SDSU defeated USC 56-54 thanks to a game-winning layup by junior guard Xavier Thames. Six days after taking on USC, the Aztecs head to Anaheim to participate in the 19th annual John R. Wooden Classic against No. 11 University of California, Los Angeles.
With 11:23 left in the first half, Tapley hit a three-pointer to give the Aztecs a 9-6 lead. From that point on, SDSU hit five of its next six 3-pointers courtesy of Jamaal Franklin, junior guard LaBradford Franklin, sophomore forward Dwayne Polee and Tapley to go on a 30-8 run and to put the Aztecs in complete control of the game.
It was finished when…
Freshman forward Skylar Spencer dunked the ball with 37 seconds left in the first half to make it 36-12 in favor of the Aztecs. As a result, “The Show,” SDSU’s student section, began to chant, “Triple your score.”
Play of the game
With 4:30 left in the first half and SDSU leading 29-10, senior forward DeShawn Stephens blocked a shot by Arkansas-Pine Bluff and came down with the rebound. He then made the outlet pass in transition to Jamaal Franklin, who passed the ball back to Stephens for the alley-oop to make it 31-10.
Statistic of the game
After starting the game 3 of 17 shooting, the Aztecs made nine of 13 shots, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range. SDSU finished the first half shooting 36.1 percent (13 of 36) and improved in the second half, shooting 48.3 percent (14 of 29).
“It feels good. Finally, after so many games getting nine rebounds, I think, but it felt good. I should be doing it all the time. I just have to keep working hard.” – senior forward DeShawn Stephens on recording his first double-double
“We all have the confidence and Coach has the confidence in all of us to keep working on our jump shots in practice and really doing game shots when we are shooting from the perimeter. Coach Steve Fisher has been very vocal about that. When you have your teammates and Coach’s confidence in you, you shouldn’t be scared to shoot. Today, we were just knocking down shots.” – senior guard Chase Tapley on the team’s shooting performance
“I liked the way we appeared to be more under control with our early offense and fast break rather than just running at the fastest pace we could run. We looked to have a measured pace where we knew what we wanted to do, rather than just running and saying, ‘What am I going to do when I get closer to the basket.’” – SDSU head coach Steve Fisher
- UAPB did not score until the 14 minute mark in the first half.
- SDSU had four players (Franklin, Stephens, Tapley and Spencer) scored in double figures this game.
- Spencer reached double figures in scoring for the first time in his career (12) and had a career-high in points (12), blocks (2), steals (1), free throws made (4) and rebounds (5).
- Stephens set a career-high in rebounds (10) and season-high in points (11).