SDSU Aztecs Routed By Boise State 88-64
The Broncos dominated the first half and the Aztecs found early foul trouble while making all the wrong moves- never to recover.
Leon Rice’s Broncos were on point in Aztecs’ conference opener. Brian Dutcher’s squad got punished for sloppy play.
Boise, Idaho- if a viewer were unfamiliar with the Boise State Broncos (7-8) and the San Diego State Aztecs (8-6), they might have found it hard to believe the two programs were in the same conference. Boise State crushed the talented Aztecs in the first half, leading 46-23 with two minutes to go.
At the half the Broncos led 46-25, with a 56% field goal percentage, playing nearly 50% at the three point line, and scoring 20 bench points.
A mere 35% in field goals; 1/11 at the three point line, with two bench points. The Aztecs turned over the ball and did not get many boards despite their length. This is the same Aztecs team that entered the game ranked 13th in Division 1 three-point shooting.
What’s worse: at the half Matt Mitchell was benched with FOUR fouls including a T, Jalen McDaniels with THREE fouls and Jordan Schakel with THREE. Serious foul trouble for three key Aztecs. Ouch.
The Broncos crushed the Aztecs in the first half in all ways. In some ways the Aztecs crushed themselves. It may have been the Aztecs’ worst loss in Boise, surprising considering it was not that long ago when coach Leon Rice was wading in a river to fill his arena with fans for the last Aztecs game.
Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher had led his squad to win the Mountain West Championship last year. That fact is hard to believe after witnessing this blowout by the same Broncos that fell to Loyola Marymount this season.
In the second half, the Aztecs forced four Broncos turnovers in four minutes, and a 12-2 run cut the lead to 11.
Nathan Mensah subbed in for McDaniels and got poked in the eye had to leave, then Nolan Narain subbed in for Mensah and barely a minute later was bleeding from the mouth after a collision with 6’10” center David Wacker, and Mensah had to return.
Then with 11:06 left, Matt Mitchell fouled out, and the moment seemed to dash any hope of the Aztecs rallying back, as they had done against CSUN.
For Boise State, Derrick Alston Jr., a 6-8 redshirt sophomore walk-on from Houston had a stellar career-high 30 points (9 of 14 shooting) off the bench.
Devin Watson led the Aztecs with 24 points. McDaniels had 14 before fouling out. Schakel had eight before fouling out as well. Jeremy Hemsley had four points and now is averaging 5.5 points and shooting 5 of 24 all time against Boise State.
The Broncos won 88-64, and sent the Aztecs back to San Diego in desperate need to re-assess.
Without question, Boise State played to their peak potential, while the Aztecs had left their A, B, and C-game back in California.
The Aztecs play at home against Wyoming on Tuesday (7 p.m., CBS Sports Network). Boise State faces San Jose State Saturday, January 12th (3pm CBS Sports Network).
Boise State comes to Viejas Arena on Feb. 16, and Leon Rice will have no disillusions that the Aztecs may have their act together by then.