No. 4 Aztecs remain perfect with 72-55 win over Cowboys
SAN DIEGO -- The Cowboys shot nearly eight percentage points better from the field than other opponents against the Aztecs in Viejas Arena, but San Diego State’s offense was too much for the Cowboys to overcome in a in a 72-55 loss Tuesday evening in San Diego, Calif.
The Aztecs extended their nationally leading winning streak to 20-games thanks to 54 percent shooting from the field.
The Pokes finished the night shooting 43 percent from the field, as opponents average 35 percent against the Aztecs in contests on the Mesa. SDSU scored 30 points in the paint for the night and added 18 points on the fast break. SDSU shot 54 percent from the field and 45 percent from behind the arc.
“It was a tremendous atmosphere against a top-five team in the nation and this is truly one of the best teams in the country,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “They shot the ball well and every time we had an opportunity to cut the lead, we gave up a three pointer or they forced a turnover. We had a hard time getting over the hump. They stayed the course and are a great experienced team that knows how to win basketball games.”
The Pokes were led in scoring by senior guard Jake Hendricks with 20 points. He finished the night with five three pointers for 126 in his career. He has five or more threes in a game six times this season and 12 times in his career. It marked his sixth career 20-point contest and second of the season. Freshman Kwane Marble added 12 points for his third double-figure contest this season and second-straight. He also led the Pokes grabbing five rebounds for the night. Sophomore Trevon “TJ” Taylor added eight points on 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Redshirt sophomore Hunter Maldonado added seven points with four rebounds and four assists.
“We are a young group and haven’t experienced an atmosphere like this,” Edwards said. “I wasn’t disappointed in the fight by our guys, we were playing an elite team. We really fought and tried to get better as the game went on.”
After A.J. Banks opened the game with a bucket, the Aztecs responded with an 8-0 run to make it an 8-2 contest three minutes into the game. Maldonado hit a pair of buckets to make it a 12-6 game at the 14:28 mark of the frame, but Matt Mitchell recorded an and-one play to extend the Aztecs lead to 15-6 a half minute later.
The Aztecs would push the lead up to 12 points at 18-6 with 13:26 left, but Hendricks got hot going on a 9-2 run by himself for the Pokes to make it a 20-15 contest with 8:32 left. He hit two three pointers and added a trio of free throws.
San Diego State responded with a 9-0 run over nearly three minutes to make it a 31-17 contest. To that point the Aztecs forced the Pokes into nine turnovers and scored 12 points off the miscues. The Aztecs would take a 32-19 lead into the half shooting 50 percent from the field with the Cowboys countering at 39 percent.
Wyoming opened the second half on a quick 5-2 run to make it a 35-24 contest two minute into the frame. Hendricks hit his third three-pointer of the game during the stretch. The Aztecs responded with a 6-2 run and built their advantage to 15 points at 41-26 with under 16 minutes left.
The Pokes would go 4-of-5 from the field to make it a 48-37 game with under 12 minutes remaining in the contest. But Jordan Schakel immediately pushed the lead back to 14 points at 51-37 with an-and one play. The Aztecs would hit five-straight shots and later built the lead to 58-40 with under eight minutes remaining.
The Aztecs continued the hot shooting at one point making eight straight baskets on their way to the 72-55 win. Wyoming was strong offensively in the second half shooting over 50 percent from the field.
San Diego State was led by Malachi Flynn with 18 points for the night with five rebounds and five assists. He was one of four players in double-figures with Mitchell adding 15 points, Yanni Wetzell with 14 and Shackel with 11 points.
Wyoming returns to action next Tuesday hosting Utah State in the Arena-Auditorium for a 9 p.m. MT start on ESPNU. -- University of Wyoming press release