Schakel’s career day helps Aztecs notch first win at BYU since 2005


Photo courtesy of Nate Edwards, BYU Photo

San Diego State junior guard Jordan Schakel (left) attempts to stop the BYU player from scoring during the Aztecs’ 76-71 win over BYU on Nov. 9 at the Marriot Center in Provo, Utah.

by Aaron Tolentino, Sports Editor

Apparently Klay Thompson came back early from his ACL tear and made his way to Provo, Utah.

Oh wait, that was just San Diego State’s Jordan Schakel.

Schakel, after only scoring two first half points, caught fire in the second half to finish with a total of a career-high 19 points on 7-for-9 field goals attempts (6-for-6 in the second half) and 5-for-7 from 3-point range (5-for-5 in the second half).

The junior guard’s hot shooting propelled the Aztecs in front of 12,567 at the Marriott Center last Saturday to win 76-71 for its first road victory at BYU since 2005.

Schakel said it was an accomplishment to do something SDSU has not done in a while.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” he said. “We know the history that game had for us. We knew what happened the last time San Diego State went in there. We just really prepared hard and trusted each other and was able to come out with the win.”

SDSU needed every bit of Schakel’s points.

“His confidence keeps going up,” Aztecs head coach Brian Dutcher said of Schakel. “It’s all confidence and swagger. He shot the ball last year for us. I think he shot 40% from three. It’ll be tough to improve on that.”

The team endured 16 unanswered points from the Cougars from about the 18-minute mark to the 15-minute mark, having a nine-point evaporate into a seven-point deficit.

Then came clutch shooting led by Schakel, who topped his previous career highs of 16 points and four 3-pointers made.

In those last 15 minutes, Schakel hit all five of his 3-pointers with his last make coming with 2:07 left. Two free throws by junior forward Matt Mitchell gave the Aztecs their first lead since the 17:12 mark in the second half.

The Aztecs took the 70-69 lead with 1:26 left.

Senior guard KJ Feagin nailed a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left, proving to be the dagger that silenced the crowd who watched BYU go on its way to lose to the Scarlet and Black.

“It just felt like a dream come true,” Feagin said of winning in the hostile environment. “I knew they were going to go on a run, and I knew that they were going to have a time in the game where it felt like we couldn’t come back. Just like I said, it was our first test as a team, and I felt like we passed it.”

Breven Honda contributed reporting to this story.

Aaron Tolentino is a senior studying journalism. Follow him on Twitter @atolent2.

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