Aztecs Put On A Clinic To Dominate Top-Seeded Nevada
San Diego State Advances To Saturday’s Championship Game
SDSU dismantled Nevada, leading by as many as 34 Saturday night
By the under-12 media timeout, you knew San Diego State came to play.
By the under-8 media timeout, you knew the game was all but over.
San Diego State thrashed Nevada 90-73 Friday night to advance to Saturday afternoon’s Mountain West Tournament championship game.
Devin Watson led San Diego State with 20 points, going 4-7 from three-point range to pace the Aztecs. Jalen McDaniels (17 points), Malik Pope (14), Matt Mitchell (13) and Trey Kell (11) also finished in double figures for SDSU.
Jordan Caroline had 25 points for a Nevada team that looked shell-shocked for much of the night. Nevada had difficulties hitting shots, grabbing defensive boards, and couldn’t stop the Aztecs both on the perimeter and in the paint.
“Yeah, we knew it was going to start clicking, we definitely knew it,” San Diego State guard Devin Watson said of the Aztecs current winning streak.
San Diego State defeated Nevada the last time the two met back in the final game of the regular season, a 79-74 win. The Aztecs have now won eight consecutive games entering Saturday’s matchup which will be against either New Mexico or Utah State.
With its stingy defense and newly found perimeter stroke, San Diego State figures to be a tough out in Saturday’s championship game.
“We learned that we’ve just got to play hard all the time,” San Diego State forward Jalen McDaniels said.
The Aztecs are hitting their stride at the right time. San Diego State, a No. 5 seed, is the lowest seed to reach the Mountain West title game since Wyoming back in 2006.
Nevada, which was the conference’s top seed for the tournament, trailed by 30 points at halftime, the second-largest in tournament history. With the loss, Nevada drops to 7-5 against the top two RPI quadrants. Nevada has two losses in the third quadrant, defeats to UNLV at home and San Francisco at a neutral site. Though still likely safe for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth, the Wolf Pack figure to be a double-digit seed after previously being projected to be as high as a No. 6 seed.
“We went out and did what the committee told us,” Nevada head coach Eric Musselman said about Nevada’s position for Sunday’s NCAA Tournament bracket reveal.
“We went out and won on the road. And we didn’t stay in our region and play a bunch of local games at home. We didn’t do that. We have confidence that a body of work that we’ve done, we’ll be playing (in the NCAA Tournament).”
The Mountain West Tournament championship will tip off at 3:00pm Pacific and can be seen on CBS.