San Diego State Recap: The Aztecs double-down on their luck, win against UNLV 60-59

San Diego State Recap: The Aztecs double-down on their luck, win against UNLV 60-59

Mountain West Basketball

San Diego State Recap: The Aztecs double-down on their luck, win against UNLV 60-59

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San Diego State Recap: The Aztecs double-down on their luck, win against UNLV 60-59


Aztecs push their luck, walk away winners.


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San Diego State wins an ugly game at Las Vegas.

San Diego State came out of the gates slow. At the first TV timeout, the score was 2-5 UNLV. The Aztecs didn’t pick up the pace until midway through the first half where at the 2nd TV timeout the Aztecs were ahead 15-10. By the end of the half, they were up 8 and looking comfortable at 31-23.

The Aztecs were shooting 37.1% from the field and kept their counterparts at 30%.

The Aztecs played through their game plan for most of the 2nd half bringing their lead up to 12, but their shot selection was terrible and their defense couldn’t get a stop. The Aztecs allowed a 15-5 Rebel run and their cushion was gone.

With under 8 minutes to go in Vegas, San Diego State and UNLV traded leads and fouls. By the end of the game, Jalen McDaniels led the Aztecs with 16 points and Matt Mitchell came through with 15.

Mitchell was clutch in the closing minutes of the game when he drew a shooting foul behind the 3-point line, taking advantage of an out of position Cheikh Mbacke Diong. The score was 57-58 UNLV and Mitchell went 3-for-3, which was huge for the Aztecs as it put them ahead 60-58. Those three free throws were the only Aztecs buckets in the final sequence of the game.

After a sequence where a Mitchell foul put Amauri Hardy on the line, Hardy made of 1 of 2 free throws to bring the score to 60-59. The final possession went to the Rebels off of a missed free throw from McDaniels. The Rebels, without a timeout, tried to set up an open shot with 9 seconds to go, a swing pass went to an open Nick Blair where he pulled up the potential game-winner.

The lights on the backboard flashed red and the ball clanged the rim. Nick Blair, the Idaho transfer, was 0-1 before putting the potential game-winner up. To add insult to injury, Blair hasn’t made a 3-pointer in the 12 days. Even with an open look, he missed the game winner.

Even going up 12 points, the Aztecs didn’t look as dominant as their first matchup in January at Viejas Arena. Aztecs fans were hoping for a dominant performance given their upset win against Nevada.

But this was one of those games for the Aztecs. Subpar gameplay on the road, but they’re able to put up a marginally better defensive effort to come away with this one. UNLV’s coldest shooter gets an open look, and by the law of averages, he’s got that in the bag. But this time lady luck hedged her bet with the team from San Diego.

Aztecs gear up for a Tuesday match against Utah State at Logan, Utah.

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