San Diego State vs San Jose State Recap: Aztecs Bounce Back in 77-52 win
The Aztecs won with a strong defense backed by 4 Aztecs scoring 10-plus.
San Diego State took care of business Friday night against San Jose State.
In front of friendly fans in Viejas Arena, Matt Bradley received a standing ovation during lineup announcements and led his team into a needed 77-52 victory. The senior scored 14 points, shooting 7-of-13 from the field, but standout Chad Baker-Mazara led the Aztecs with 16 points, shooting 50 percent from the field, and 2-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Clear the runway, @chadbaker2700 coming through👀
— San Diego State Men's Basketball (@Aztec_MBB) February 26, 2022
San Jose State, without Myron Amey Jr. who torched the Aztecs in their previous matchup, was led by junior Omari Moore who scored 20 points in the loss. The Spartans made only two three-pointers, well below their Mountain West best 9.3 made three-pointers per game, and never got into an offensive groove in San Diego.
What isn't falling for @omari_moore13? 🔥
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) February 26, 2022
Coach Brian Dutcher’s squad came back strong on offense after facing Boise State’s staunch defense.
“They are learning how to play with each other,” said Dutcher in his media availability after the game. “Matt (Bradley) just creates his own shot and now Chad Baker-Mazara’s one-dribble pull-up is hard to guard.”
As a team, the hosts shot 50.8 percent and never trailed in the game. By the end of the first half, they were up 11 powered by Baker-Mazara’s nine points in seven minutes off the bench. Bradley and Baker-Mazara were not the only scorers as Keshad Johnson and Trey Pulliam each contributed 13-plus points. By the game’s close, the bench contributed a total of 23 points in the 25-point victory.
They were able to hold onto their lead because of their return to form on defense. Aztec defenders were able to swat and steal possessions away from San Jose State. The Spartans gave up the ball 19 times and only converted 19 field goals on 48 attempts.
There’s also the fact that Dutcher opted to press a short-handed team who rotated eight players Friday night.
“We tried to take advantage of that and I thought we did a good job of kind of wearing them down as the game went on,” said Dutcher.
The Spartans start one of the youngest teams in the league, as Omari Moore is the only returning starter on the team, and visibly got flustered in the backcourt when Trey Pulliam and Lamont Butler hounded ball handlers sometimes not making it past half court.
In a game where San Diego State has excelled in offense and defense, they have now won their last nine games immediately following a loss and moves to 11-0 all-time when hosting San Jose State inside Viejas Arena.
San Diego State flies to Laramie to take on Wyoming in a must-win Quad 1 game. San Jose State goes to Colorado Springs on Tuesday for a match with Air Force.