Hemsley, Kell lead Aztecs to 69-59 win against Toreros
Nov. 12, 2016
SAN DIEGO (AP) Jeremy Hemsley scored 25 points and keyed the go-ahead run early in the second half and San Diego State exacted revenge with a 69-59 victory against cross-town rival San Diego in a season-opener Friday night.
Trey Kell added 23 for SDSU, which was stunned by the Toreros last season at Petco Park, home of baseball's Padres.
USD jumped to a 37-35 lead early in the second half on easy buckets by Tyler Williams and Olin Carter III.
After SDSU's Zylan Cheatham made a layup to tie it, Hemsley made the next three baskets. He made consecutive baskets and then hit a 3-pointer from the corner to give SDSU a 44-39 lead.
A Hemsley bucket started an 18-2 run for the Aztecs, whose defense overwhelmed the Toreros. Hemsley had a slam dunk and a jumper, and Kell made two layups to give the Aztecs a 57-41 lead.
The Toreros' only bucket during that run was a 3-pointer by Carter, who had a team-high 17 points.
Before the game, SDSU unveiled the 2015-16 Mountain West regular-season championship banner.
The Aztecs got off to a rough start by allowing four straight layups by USD, which led for most of the first half.
SDSU also had some early shooting trouble, including three air-balls from 3-point range.
Kell kept the Aztecs in the game with a 3-pointer, a layup and two free throws.
Hemsley made two 3-pointers, including one that pulled SDSU to 31-30. The Aztecs finally took the lead at 32-31 on a layup by Kell with 2:23 before halftime.
The Toreros went cold, making only one basket in the final five minutes: Carter's layup with 6.2 seconds left that trimmed their deficit to 35-33 at halftime.
USD: The Toreros, who were 9-21 last year in Lamont Smith's first season as coach, are picked to finish last again in the West Coast Conference. They played scrappy and were successful early against SDSU's defense, but couldn't keep up against the bigger Aztecs.
SAN DIEGO STATE: The Aztecs were missing a handful of players with injuries, including 6-10 forward Malik Pope. Depth could be a concern if more players don't come back before Monday's game at Gonzaga. Only eight players saw action Friday night.
USD plays its home opener Monday night against Samford.
San Diego State visits No. 14 Gonzaga on Monday night.