Davis Powers No.24 SDSU Past McNeese State, 65-36

Dec. 21, 2013

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Winston Shepard scored seven straight points during a 13-0 run midway through the second half that helped No. 24 San Diego State pull away from McNeese State for a 65-36 victory Saturday night.

Shepard finished with 14 points, and Josh Davis had 12 points and 17 rebounds to help SDSU (9-1) win its eighth straight game. Aqeel Quinn had 12 points and Matt Shrigley 11.

Said San Diego State coach Steve Fisher of Shepard: "I thought he'd play the way we expect him to play."

Ledrick Eackles scored 13 points for McNeese State (2-9), which is in a stretch of nine games away from home in a span of 46 days.

After leading just 21-18 at halftime, the Aztecs finally came to life in the second half.

With the Aztecs trailing 25-23, Aqeel Quinn hit a 3-pointer from the left corner, SDSU's first shot from beyond the arc in 14 tries, to start the 13-0 run with 14:56 to go. Shepard then scored the next seven points, on a free throw, a runner in the lane, a layup and two more free throws.

Xavier Thames ended the run with a 3-pointer for a 36-25 lead with 11:28 to go.

Shepard added a slam dunk off a missed shot with 8:47 left.

"I think a sleeping giant woke up," McNeese State coach Dave Simmons said. "We battled the first half as well as we could play. In my mind, if we had done a couple things, we might have been up a couple points. We battled, the kids played hard. In the first half we did match their intensity, but they went up another level on us and we didn't match that intensity."

Still, the Aztecs finished shooting just 37.3 percent, 22 of 59. They made only seven of 27 3-point shots.

Fisher said he almost put in JJ O'Brien, who has an injured hand, but didn't have to.

"When you can't make a shot, it doesn't look very pretty, and neither team could make a shot in the first half," Fisher said. "The way we started the second half, I didn't think we were going to get a shot, with the turnovers that occurred. But finally we made a basket, I think Aqeel made a basket, a 3, and it seemed as it everybody felt a little more relaxed."

The Aztecs made only 7 of 29 shots and missed all 10 3-pointers in the first half. SDSU outrebounded the Cowboys just 23-22 in the first 20 minutes.

The Cowboys' last field goal of the first half was a jumper by Adrian Fields with 7:45 left that gave them an 18-17 lead. San Diego State was almost as cold, getting only a basket off a rebound by Davis and two free throws from Shepard the rest of the half.

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