Aztecs upset by USD in city championship, 53-48

Back to Article
Back to Article

Aztecs upset by USD in city championship, 53-48

by Ryan Posner, Assistant Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Everything about Sunday’s San Diego State men’s basketball game was odd.

It was played outside, in December, at a baseball stadium.

What trumped all that was what University of San Diego was doing to SDSU on the court, as the Toreros shocked the Aztecs with a 53-48 upset win.

After a horrific first half where they trailed 31-13, the Aztecs mounted a 19-4 run late in the second half to cut the margin to one with 1:16 left.

It was too little too late.

“You don’t win if you only play 15 minutes of basketball,” head coach Steve Fisher said. “(USD) took it to us early and often.”

The Aztecs came out flat with minimal energy in the first half, shooting 3-for-20 from the field and getting out-rebounded 8-1 on the offensive glass.

SDSU was visibly frustrated on the floor, switching in and out of presses and trying out a 2-3 zone before eventually finishing the game back in man defense.

“You usually get in life what you deserve and that happened to us today, we got what we deserved,” Fisher said. “We put ourselves in a position late to have a chance to win, but ultimately we got what we deserved.”

Inversely, USD came out in the first half with noticeably more energy and went 7-for-16 from behind the arc while forcing seven turnovers.

The team with the No. 314 RPI in the nation held a team that has a potential NBA lottery pick and a roster littered with top-100 recruits to just 13 points in a half.

“When you win a game of this magnitude over a tremendous basketball program in San Diego State, coach Fisher and their staff, I think it will help us in recruiting, I think it will help us in Southern California particularly,” USD head coach Lamont Smith said.

The Aztecs’ streak of 44 straight non-conference wins against teams from California was snapped by the team just down the highway.

It was one of the sloppiest shooting — and overall — efforts from an Aztec team led by Fisher.

“I’m up in the second half and all I’m yelling is, ‘Play harder, play harder, play harder!’ That’s not my job, that’s their job,” Fisher said. “Don’t make me coach effort.”

Fisher said Saturday that he didn’t think this game would be anything like the game in 2012 against Syracuse University on the USS Midway.

He was right, kind of.

Syracuse was a title contender and the windy conditions on the Midway were less than favorable.

Sunday at Petco Park, the Aztecs were playing a struggling Toreros team, and other than the occasional slight breeze, there was no wind.

One thing remained the same between the two games: The Aztecs flat out couldn’t shoot.

“No matter what the surrounding is, if you play in a high school gym, Petco Park, it should have nothing to do with how we came out in the first half,” sophomore guard Trey Kell said. “That had to do with us individually, not the venue.”

SDSU was 0-for-5 from behind the arc at halftime. The Aztecs finished the day shooting 33.3 percent from the field and were 4-for-13 on 3-pointers.

Kell was the team’s leading scorer for the second straight game with 14 points as he went 3-for-6 from long range.

He hit the team’s first 3-pointer at the 17:43 mark … in the second half.

Senior center Angelo Chol was the only player with stats to write home about. He had a season-high seven points and tied his season-high with seven rebounds.

SDSU bounces right back Monday with a 7 p.m. tip-off against Biola University, a 10-1 NAIA club from La Mirada, at Viejas Arena.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email