M. Basketball to Head to USD on Thursday
Nov. 28, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
NEWS AND NOTES
* The Aztecs finished a grueling 10-day period where they played five games, including three in four days at the Wooden Legacy in Fullerton. SDSU played its first two games at the Wooden Legacy in a span of 18 hours before competing in the championship game late Sunday night. San Diego State completed the five-games-in-10-days stretch with a 4-1 record.
* SDSU went 2-1 at the Wooden Legacy, defeating Sacramento State (89-52) and Georgia (75-68) before falling short in its bid to become the first repeat champion in the 11-year history of the event, losing to Washington State, 93-86.
* San Diego State was already without the services of junior forward Max Montana due to a hyperextended left knee suffered in the second half of the game at Arizona State and then added Malik Pope (foot) to the injury list in the first half of the Washington State contest. The senior forward, who entered the game as the team’s leader in scoring and rebounding, left for the locker room, but returned in the first half. Pope ending up playing 14 minutes (4 points, 1 rebound, 1 blocked shot), but did not return after halftime.
* With two of their six returning letterwinners sidelined, the Aztecs turned to senior guard Trey Kell and junior backcourt teammate Devin Watson, who ranked second and third on the team in scoring, respectively, entering the game. The duo helped SDSU to a nine-point lead with 8:25 left in the second half, but Kell later suffered an ankle injury with the Aztecs up, 75-70 (6:38). Kell ultimately returned, but SDSU found itself trailing, 80-79 (3:58). The Aztecs got to within three points twice in the final 90 seconds, but could not complete the rally.
* Watson led San Diego State at the Wooden Legacy in scoring (17.0) and assists (4.0), and capped the tournament with a 23-point, 4-rebound, 6-assist performance vs. Washington State. For his effort, he was named to the all-tournament team along with Kell, who averaged 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals. Kell ended up with 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals against the Cougars.
* SDSU also received solid contributions vs. WSU from redshirt sophomore Nolan Narain and freshmen Jordan Schakel and Matt Mitchell. Narain played 18 minutes and put up a career-high 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go with a personal-best seven boards. Mitchell chipped in 12 points and a career-high nine rebounds. Schakel, meanwhile, added six points and enjoyed personal records in rebounding (7) and assists (2).
* The Aztecs will look to respond to Sunday’s loss against a San Diego team that is 3-0 at home after wins over Robert Morris, Norfolk State and Little Rock. SDSU, however, is 9-8 all-time at Jenny Craig Pavilion and has won four straight meetings in Linda Vista.
* SDSU is 30-18 overall against the Toreros and has won 10 of its last 11 against USD. In games played indoors, the Aztecs are 10-0 in their last 10 series meetings. The two teams played outdoors at Petco Park, the home of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, in December of 2015.
* San Diego State will finally return home on Sunday afternoon when it plays host to Bradley in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge. It will mark the beginning of a three-game non-conference-ending homestand with California (Dec. 9) and Gonzaga (Dec. 21) set to visit Viejas Arena.