The San Diego State men’s basketball team came into Monday’s game against Texas Southern University full of confidence. And why not? After defeating the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles in back-to-back games to proclaim itself the top team in the Golden State, SDSU rose to No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
Behind junior guard Jamaal Franklin’s 18 points and 15 rebounds, SDSU defeated Texas Southern 74-62 to move to 6-1 on the season.
From the initial tip, the Aztecs dominated the game, starting with a 9-0 run fueled by senior guard Chase Tapley, who scored five of the nine points. Eventually, SDSU built a 13-1 lead less than seven minutes into the game because of the six consecutive points scored by senior forward DeShawn Stephens.
The Tigers found momentum and made it 27-16, but a 3-pointer by Franklin and a jumper by Stephens increased the lead to 32-16. SDSU finished the first half in the lead 34-16.
Texas Southern came out as the aggressor in the second half, going on a 13-4 run to cut the lead to 38-29. The teams continued to trade baskets, but the Aztecs held onto a double-digit lead. The Tigers were able to pull within eight points of the Aztecs with more than 10 minutes to go in the game, but SDSU went on a 14-4 run of its own to make it an 18-point game.
Four Aztecs scored in double-figures, including sophomore forward Dwayne Polee, who had 10 points, his most as an Aztec. Tapley had 16 points, while Stephens set a season-high with 13 points.
With a little more than three minutes left in the first half, the Tigers cut the deficit to 27-16, but a trey by Franklin and baskets by Stephens and freshman forward Winston Shepard put the Aztecs on a 7-0 run, giving SDSU a 34-16 halftime lead and momentum going into the second half.
It was over when…
With just more than seven minutes left in the game, Franklin pulled down a defensive rebound and threw a cross-court pass to Tapley for the layup. The basket gave the Aztecs a 15-point lead late in the game.
Play of the game
In the final minute of the game and with the shot clock winding down, Tapley threw an alley-oop from the top of the key to Franklin, who finished the play with a reverse dunk to send what was left of the crowd into a frenzy.
Stat of the game
After not attempting a free throw in the first half, the Aztecs made 15 of the 17 free throws they attempted in the second half, good enough for an 88.2 percent mark.
Player of the game
Franklin recorded his fourth double-double of the season and has now scored in double-figures in 28 consecutive games.
- The Aztecs have won 19 consecutive games in the month of December.
- Tapley returned to the starting lineup after sitting out the USC game because of a knee injury. He came off the bench against UCLA.
- Texas Southern did not hit its first field goal until 9:28 into the game.
- SDSU is now 5-0 all-time against members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
- The Tigers shot 18.5 percent (5-for-27) from the field in the first half.
- This is SDSU’s first of a four-game homestand. The Aztecs’ next three opponents are the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene.
- The Aztecs are riding a six-game winning streak.