Gear up for gameday: SDSU
SAN DIEGO -- The Cowboys have now lost 13 straight games inside Viejas Arena after Thursday night's 87-57 setback.
It's easy to see why, too.
Not much went right for visiting Wyoming. Jeff Linder's crew shot just 30 percent from the field and made only 10 of its 40 three-pointers on the night, six of which came after the Pokes trailed by 33 at the half.
"They haven't played against a legitimate, Top-25 defensive team in the country," Linder said. "... I mean, they've got a collective toughness to them. They know that winning lies on the defensive end of the floor. You can see that with their intentions, you can see that in their stances, you can see in the way that they they sit down and guard the ball. There's just, there's very few breakdowns."
The Aztecs' 63 first-half points were the most in Mountain West history. San Diego State shot better than 70 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes. Unlike the Cowboys, Brian Dutcher's bunch sank 8-of-11 from distance to build that insurmountable lead.
"For our young guys, it's good to go through that," Linder said. "It's good experience, but you don't want to experience that by getting beat by 30. But that's what happens when you play against a team of their caliber. And when you see their best shot, and in the first half, you know, their intensity, their their ability to execute the game plan to sit down and guard, allowed us to dig a deep, deep hole."
For the first time in his young career, true freshman point guard Marcus Williams didn't score in double figures, netting just six points on 2-of-13 shooting. Hunter Maldonado also had a quiet night against the Aztecs, scoring six himself. He missed all four of his field-goal attempts and was 0-3 from behind the arc.
Kwane Marble was a bright spot for the visitors Thursday night. The sophomore from Colorado drained 15 and also pulled down a team-best nine rebounds. His former AAU teammate, Graham Ike, scored 10 and snagged six boards in just his third collegiate game. Xavier DuSell continues his hot streak, sinking three triples in the loss.
Linder said last week the Cowboys need to be ready for the Aztecs' early offensive onslaught. More specifically, the first five minutes of the game.
Thursday, SDSU went on a 12-0 run and led 19-7 at that point of the game. They shot 72.7 percent from the field and hit 3-of-4 three-pointers. Wyoming scored five of those points on its first two possessions, too.
"I thought, early on, we actually didn't kind of get on our heels," Linder said. "I thought we actually had a little bit of a rhythm going and then it kind of just snowballed on us. Then, from there, it was just like a deer in headlights."
Mountain West Conference standings
1 Boise State (14-2, 10-1)
2 Utah State (13-5, 10-2)
3 Colorado State (12-4, 9-3)
4 San Diego State (12-4, 6-3)
5 Nevada (10-7, 5-5)
6 UNLV (6-7, 3-3)
7 Wyoming (10-6, 4-5)
8 Fresno State (6-6, 4-6)
9 Air Force (4-11, 2-9)
10 San Jose State (4-11, 2-9)
11 New Mexico (5-10, 1-10)
Here is all you need to know about tonight's tilt in San Diego:
WHO: Wyoming (10-6, 4-5) at San Diego State (12-4, 6-3)
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. MST
WHERE: Viejas Arena, San Diego, Calif.,
TV: CBS Sports Network (Channel 221 DirecTV, 158 Dish Network, Verizon Fios 94 and Xfinity 734)
RADIO: Wyoming affiliates
STREAMING: CBS Sports Network
BOX SCORE: Live stats
ROSTERS: Wyoming / San Diego State
VEGAS ODDS: SDSU -17.5, O/U 141.5
HISTORY: SDSU leads the all-time series 45-41 (Aztecs took Game 1 87-57 Thursday night in San Diego)
HEAD COACHES: Jeff Linder / Brian Dutcher