Despite cold second half, SDSU finds a win

by Edward Lewis

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Senior forward Malcolm Thomas scored 22 points and logged six rebounds in SDSU’s win last night. Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

Senior forward Malcolm Thomas scored 22 points and logged six rebounds in SDSU’s win last night. Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

The San Diego State men’s basketball team made one basket in the final 10 minutes last night against New Mexico.
And it still won by six.

That not only sums up the Aztecs’ 68-62 win against the Lobos last night in Viejas Arena, it also puts SDSU’s season in a perfect nutshell.

“We do enough to get ourselves victories,” head coach Steve Fisher said.

Despite getting just one field goal from sophomore forward Kawhi Leonard and the rest of the Aztecs in the last 10:30 of the game, SDSU was able to ride 22-point games from both senior forward Malcolm Thomas and Leonard to a school record-tying 26th victory against the Lobos’ squad.

“There are a lot of ways to skin a cat, a lot of ways to get wins,” Fisher said. “We would have liked to make more field goals, but we made just enough.”

SDSU shot just two free throws in the first half. In the second half, the Aztecs shot 29. And they made just enough (21) of them to grind out a victory.

At the 10:31 mark in the second half, sophomore guard James Rahon hit a 3-pointer to put SDSU up 52-38. The Show held up “RahOwned” signs. The 12,414 fans stood on their feet. Everyone in Viejas Arena was convinced that was the dagger.

But New Mexico didn’t. It fought back, cut the lead to as little as four riding a 24-14 run, but couldn’t quite pull it off. SDSU was able to make 14 free throws down the stretch and moved to 11-1 in Mountain West Conference play a half-game ahead of BYU for first place.
“This was a tough, hard-fought game exactly the way I thought it would be,” Fisher said. “It was a huge game for both teams and we played that way. Not expertly played, but as hard-fought as any game in the country was played tonight.”

News and notes
Senior Guard D.J. Gay recorded a turnover for the first time in more than four games. After the game, he said, “I think I was over-anxious and got too excited about making that play. But it goes to show that I’m human. I’m going to turn the ball over. Just a matter of time, I guess.”

Injured sophomore guard Chase Tapley (ankle) and injured junior forward Tim Shelton (foot) both returned to action last night for the first time since hurting themselves against TCU.

Tapley played 20 minutes and scored five points. Shelton played just four minutes.
SDSU extended its winning streak to 35 against unranked teams.

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