Aztecs to face Wyoming in team’s first game of conference tournament

San+Diego+State+mens+basketball+senior+guard+Trey+Pulliam+faces+a+Boise+State+defender+during+the+Aztecs+78-66+overtime+win+over+the+Broncos+on+Feb.+25%2C+2021+at+Viejas+Arena.

Noelani Sapla

San Diego State men’s basketball senior guard Trey Pulliam faces a Boise State defender during the Aztecs’ 78-66 overtime win over the Broncos on Feb. 25, 2021 at Viejas Arena.

by Breven Honda, Senior Staff Writer

No. 19/19 San Diego State men’s basketball, who enters the Mountain West Conference tournament as the top overall seed, will face No. 8 Wyoming on Thursday in the quarterfinals at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. 

The game is scheduled to tipoff at noon and will be televised on CBS Sports Network. 

SDSU enters the tournament on an 11-game winning streak — the fourth-longest streak in the country. 

Wyoming is coming off a 111-80 victory over No. 9 San José State in the first round of the tournament on Wednesday. 

The 111 points marked the most points scored in regulation in tournament history. 

The Cowboys had four players score at least 15 points, led by freshman forward Graham Ike scoring a game-high 32 points on 12-of-14 shooting. 

When the Aztecs and Cowboys squared off in the regular season, SDSU won both games by at least 27 points at Viejas Arena in late January. 

In game one, SDSU put up a conference-record 63 points in the first half to secure a 30-point win. 

The Aztecs had four players in double figures and contained Wyoming to just 30% shooting. 

Two days later, the teams met again on Steve Fisher Court and the Aztecs prevailed and shot 60% overall, including 47.8% from the 3-point range. 

When teams shoot like that and hold opponents to less than 35% shooting, it makes that team unstoppable, which the Aztecs got wins number three and four of the current 11-game win streak. 

Now, the two teams will meet on a neutral floor to decide who will be the first of four teams to punch their ticket to the tournament semifinals. 

In the last 21 quarterfinal games, SDSU is 16-5 and won the last 13. 

SDSU will continue to rely on its defense-leads-to-offense approach as they currently rank fourth in the nation in opponent scoring at 60.1 points per game, only chasing Liberty (59.6 points), No. 7/7 Houston (57.6) and No. 18/18 Loyola of Chicago (55.5). All three teams are expected to make the NCAA Tournament when the field of 68 is announced on Sunday. 

Also, senior guard Jordan Schakel is 22 points away from achieving 1,000 career points.

The winner between the Aztecs and Cowboys will face the winner of No. 4 Boise State and No. 5 Nevada on Friday night at 6:30 p.m at the Thomas and Mack Center.

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