SDSU defense corrals Cowboys

by Antonio Morales

Peter Kluch, Senior Staff Photographer
Peter Kluch, Senior Staff Photographer

After having to spend the night in Cedar City, Utah and arriving in Laramie, Wyo. only about five hours prior to tipoff, because of some travel difficulties, it would have come as no surprise to see the San Diego State men’s basketball team go through the motions against the Wyoming Cowboys.

SDSU trailed by three points more than half-way through the first half, but came back to take a three point-lead into the locker rooms, thanks to some big buckets by sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin.

After a sluggish first half, the Aztecs blew the doors off the Cowboys in the second half. SDSU pushed the lead to 15 points, three separate times before claiming a 52-42 victory.

“I most definitely agree (this is one of the most impressive wins),” senior forward Tim Shelton said to KOGO 600 AM’s Ted Leitner after the game. “It kind of goes to the character of this team. We sat and we talked about it. We need to use this as motivation because it’s very easy to say things didn’t go our way and we’re tired, but we didn’t take that mentality and Coach (Steve Fisher) definitely made sure we didn’t.”

The Aztecs improved to 18-2 this season, the second-best start in school history and moved its Mountain West Conference record to 4-0.

Defense does the job again

A college basketball game is 40 minutes long. Last night, Wyoming scored 42 points.

A little more than a point per minute wasn’t going to help the Cowboys defeat the Aztecs.

It was another case of the SDSU defense stifling an opponent, just like it did against UNLV, New Mexico and Air Force prior to playing against Wyoming.

“They are able to have a game plan implemented and execute it,” Fisher said. “I thought they were really, really, really good with our defensive thought process. We had very few mix-ups with our defense.”

The Aztecs held the Cowboys to 30.6 percent shooting from the field, which was their lowest shooting percentage of the season.

The 42 points scored by Wyoming was a season low and the fewest amount of points scored against the SDSU in its 70 all-time meetings.

The good and the bad with Jamaal Franklin

Franklin recorded his fourth double-double in the last five games and his fifth in the last seven. He scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The thing that may have bothered some Aztecs fans, though, was his seven turnovers

It was the most turnovers Franklin has had this season, so even though he may be inconsistent at times, the positives usually outweigh the negatives with Franklin.

That was the case last night, as his seven turnovers didn’t jeopardize the team’s chance at a victory.

News and notes

It was Fisher’s 250th career victory at SDSU.

The loss was only Wyoming’s second at home. The Aztecs have now won two straight in the Arena-Auditorium.

It was SDSU’s fourth straight win overall against the Cowboys.

Junior guard Chase Tapley scored in double figures for a career-high 14th consecutive game.