San Diego State Defeats UNLV
Aztecs down Rebels 94-77 at Viejas Arena
Jalen McDaniels goes off in win over San Diego State
San Diego is America’s Finest City and the Aztecs love being home. In conference play the Aztecs have won all their games at home, while losing all the ones on the road. On Saturday night the Aztecs were playing on Steve Fisher Court, which was bad news for the Rebels. After 40 minutes the Aztecs ended with a 94-77 victory over UNLV.
The Aztecs jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and never trailed in what was a strange game. San Diego State won by 17 even though they had the same number of turnovers as the Rebels (14) and allowed UNLV to make twice as many three-point shots as them (13-6).
On the flip side the Rebels, who were the second best offensive rebounding team in the nation, only had 13 offensive boards, which was one more than the Aztecs. Overall the Aztecs won the rebounding battle 38-29. Another strange occurrence was that the Rebels were putrid at the free-throw line, missing their first six and finishing 6-14 (42.9%) from the charity stripe.
After San Diego State got out to the early lead, the Rebels kept fighting in the first half, including getting the game within three, but an Aztec team that usually allows their opponent to make a late run, instead extended the lead to 11 by half.
In the second half the Aztecs continued their hot play and extended their lead to 19 and eventually got it up as high as 22. A late flurry of quick shots got the Rebels into a more respectable range, but the game ended up as a 17-point victory for the home team, making it 13 wins out of the last 14 games for the Aztecs.
San Diego State was led by sophomore forward Jalen McDaniels who finished with his fifth straight double, a feat that has not been accomplished at San Diego State since Aztec legend Kawhi Leonard. McDaniels finished with a career-high 30 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and five steals. Three other starters ended in double digit scoring, Devin Watson had 15 points, Jeremy Hemsley had 13 points, and Matt Mitchell finished with 11.
UNLV was led by freshman Joel Ntambwe who finished with 19 points and six rebounds Amauri Hardy scored 18 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in the loss. Nick Blair was the third and final Rebel to score in double figures as he finished with 13 points off the bench.