Men's Basketball to Face Georgia in Wooden Legacy Semifinal
Nov. 24, 2017
FULLERTON, Calif. -
NEWS AND NOTES
* The Aztecs won their third straight game, defeating Sacramento State late Thursday night. The win upped SDSU’s record to 14-2 in eight-team in-season tournaments since 2008-09. San Diego State is also 4-0 in the Wooden Legacy after going 3-0 in 2013 to win the tourney.
* SDSU, which led Sacramento State by as many as 47 points, rested its starters for much of the second half with only two logging 20 or more minutes (Devin Watson - 24, Matt Mitchell - 20). Even with the limited minutes, three starters reached double figures in scoring (Watson - 12, Mitchell - 11, Trey Kell - 11).
* The Aztecs’ other two starters, Malik Pope and Kameron Rooks, had productive nights as well. Pope in just 16 minutes had seven points (3-5 FG, 1-1 3FG), five rebounds and two assists. His double-figure scoring streak, however, ended at a career-high seven games in a row. Rooks, meanwhile, had six points and a season-high nine rebounds.
* With the starters sitting out nearly half of the game, others took center stage, starting with Jalen McDaniels. The redshirt freshman played a career-high 28 minutes and put up eight points and a career-high 13 rebounds. The 13 boards were the most of any Aztec this season, surpassing Pope’s 11 vs. Eastern Illinois. Jeremy Hemsley added 10 points and three assists off the bench, marking the fifth straight game in which he has had multiple assists. The junior guard is averaging 3.6 assists, trailing only Watson’s 4.8 per game.
* For the third straight game, SDSU scored at least 83 points and its 89-point effort raised its season scoring average by one full point. The Aztecs go into the tilt with Georgia averaging 85 points on 48.4-percent shooting.
* Defensively, San Diego State brought its opponent scoring average down almost three full points. SDSU was giving up 64.2 points entering the tournament and now has its scoring defense down to 61.8 points. The Aztecs also lowered their field-goal percentage defense from 37.6 percent to 37.3.
* With a 10 p.m. PT tip on Thursday and a 4 p.m. PT start set for the game vs. Georgia, the Aztecs have little time to prepare. The circumstances have not hindered the success of the program as SDSU has posted a 17-2 record in its last 19 regular-season outings when given less than 24 hours to gameplan.
* San Diego State is facing a Bulldogs team it has never faced before. The last time the Aztecs faced a team from the SEC was in the 2010 NCAA tournament when they played Tennessee.
* Georgia, which is receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll, rallied to defeat Cal State Fullerton, 64-57, on Thursday.
* The game vs. the Bulldogs is the fourth of a five-games-in-10-days stretch for the Aztecs. After its date with Georgia, San Diego State fill face either Saint Mary’s or Washington State on Sunday. So far, SDSU is 3-0 during the span.