Men's Hoops Opens MW Action at Wyoming
Dec. 24, 2017
SAN DIEGO -
NEWS AND NOTES Through games of Saturday, Dec. 23
* The Aztecs look to build on the momentum gained from defeating then-No. 12/15 Gonzaga on the last day of final exams back on Dec. 21. SDSU was plus-7 in turnover margin (16-9) and made more free throws than the Bulldogs took (21-17) to help it emerge with the 72-70, wire-to-wire home victory.
* True freshman Matt Mitchell made a pair of three-pointers to help the Aztecs take an 11-0 lead and San Diego State never looked back despite Gonzaga hanging around for the first 11-plus minutes of the second half. During that span, it was a two-possession game the entire time until redshirt freshman Jalen McDaniels took over.
* McDaniels helped turn a 35-34 Aztec lead into a 44-37 advantage after he scored six of SDSU’s next nine points. Both Mitchell and McDaniels finished with a team-high 15 points. For McDaniels, his point total was a career high and the Federal Way, Washington native added 10 rebounds to post his second double-double of his career and his second in his last three outings.
* As SDSU’s freshman duo helped put the Aztecs in a position to win, it was senior Trey Kell who helped ice the game. The guard missed two games earlier in the month due to an ankle and then suffered a thigh bruise in the California game that limited him to three second-half minutes. After not going through a full practice since the Wooden Legacy, Kell played 15 minutes in the second half and recorded 12 of his 14 points and all four of his assists in the final frame. When Gonzaga trimmed its deficit to two with 1:36 left, Kell made two free throws and then added a twisting reverse layup. Kell added two more free throws in the final 28 seconds to help provide the final margin.
* San Diego State’s win snapped Gonzaga’s 12-game road winning streak, which was the longest among all Division I schools. It was also the highest-ranked AP Top 25 team the Aztecs had defeated since Jan. 14, 2012, when they downed No. 12 UNLV, and it was the highest-ranked non-conference AP Top 25 foe they had beaten since they won at No. 11 Gonzaga on Nov. 16, 2010.
* SDSU enters conference action after being picked to finish in second place in the Mountain West preseason poll, which was announced in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MW Media Summit in October. The Aztecs received 229 points and two of a possible 24 first-place votes. Wyoming, however, was picked to finish in seventh and is the defending CBI champion.
* San Diego State, champions of the Mountain West a league-record 10 times, is looking to win its first Mountain West opener since 2015-16 when it took down the Cowboys at home, 67-55. The victory was the first of what is a current three-game winning streak over Wyoming.
* The Aztecs are beginning their league schedule on the road for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign when they won at Colorado State. SDSU has won six straight MW openers that have taken place on the road, which dates back to the 2002-03 season.
* In the previous 18 years of Mountain West action, San Diego State is 13-5 in league openers and 13-2 over the last 15 seasons. The first three conference campaigns the Aztecs started with a loss and went a combined 11-31 in MW play (1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02).