Keys to a San Diego State Victory vs. New Mexico
San Diego State looks to ride a 3-game win streak.
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Are the Aztecs ready for their toughest challenge yet?
San Diego State gets the after dark special as the last game on the college basketball slate at 11PM ET, 9PM local time in Albuquerque.
San Diego State brings a 3-game winning streak going to Dreamstyle Arena — The Pit. Despite beåing one of the intense places to play in the Mountain West, this rivalry game does not look like it will sell out. Credit the late tipoff, and underwhelming performance of Lobo basketball in the Craig Neal era.
The Lobos are licking their wounds off a loss during a stretch where they host San Diego State tonight and play their next game at Nevada. The Neal-led Lobos have not won a game since January 19 against Wyoming.
San Diego State looks hungry and here are the keys for an Aztec victory:
The McDaniels and Watson Show
You start to think with this win-streak, Jalen McDaniels might ‘graduate’ alongside Devin Watson. The kid from the Northwest and the kid from North County have been leading this team during conference play. McDaniels had been leading the team in scoring in the 2 of the 3 wins, whereas Watson had been 2nd in scoring in 2 of the 3 wins. Playing at The Pit is tough, and its going to take this type of leadership to lead this young team. At the moment, the chemistry seems to be building up momentum until the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
Nathan Mensah has become a force in the paint. Despite averaging 5.1 points per game, his 5 rebounds per game is second to McDaniels. His production is sometimes overlooked in the stats, but Mensah’s best scoring game (16 points) this season came against these same Lobos. Mensah could be the deciding factor in how the Aztecs take care of business tonight.
Keeping opponents field goal shooting under 40% is their key to success. Anthony Mathis leads the team in points and shot 46% in their loss to Fresno State. Last time these teams met, Mathis led the team at 21 points. Moving to zone has helped San Diego State, and having Mensah in the line up helps having a traditional 6’10” center in middle of the key, but Mathis is good from downtown. Play their best defense and these Aztecs can sleep nicely.