Aztecs get battered by Rams

by Antonio Morales

Antonio Zaragoza, photo editor

It was just one of those games for the San Diego State men’s basketball team against Colorado State on Saturday.

It was one of those games in which the road team couldn’t buy a bucket, which was evident by SDSU’s 31.3 shooting percentage from the field and 14.3 percent shooting from three. It was one of those games in which the other team seems like it can’t miss, which was evident by CSU’s 49 percent shooting from the field and its 46.3 percent shooting from three. It was one of those games in which the opposing team remembered a last-second loss it suffered against the visitors the season prior.

All of these elements led to a performance that can be described as nothing else but ugly for the Aztecs. And the result was ugly, too. SDSU fell to the hot-shooting Rams 77-60. The loss snapped the Aztecs’ 11-game win streak and gave them their first loss in Mountain West Conference play.

Rams run wild
Much might be said about how bad SDSU looked against CSU, but the Rams deserve credit for creating this result. They had about as impressive of a performance as a team has had against the Aztecs this season.

It was a complete win. CSU played great on both ends of the floor, it shot well and caused trouble for SDSU’s talented backcourt.

Head coach Steve Fisher acknowledged this fact after the game, when talking to KOGO 600AM’s Ted Leitner.

“We were beaten today,” Fisher said. “We had a difficult time making shots. Part of that goes to Colorado State and how they guarded. We had a hard time making shots and they made shots. They were 23-of-23 from the free-throw line. Today, they were, without question, the better team.”

Backcourt blues
The Aztec backcourt has been the team’s strength all season long.  Against the Rams, it struggled mightily. Sophomore point guard Xavier Thames, and junior guards James Rahon and Chase Tapley couldn’t put the ball in the basket. The trio combined for a 6-of-36 shooting effort for 24 points: Add in sophomore point guard LaBradford Franklin, and the numbers look even worse.

“We were 6-for-40 with those four guys,” Fisher said. “Chase is one of the leading shooters in the country; and to their credit, they ran him off some shots when he missed some shots. Then it’s harder to make your next shot. We had a lot of shots and missed a lot of shots.”

Sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin’s performance was the lone bright spot for SDSU. Franklin scored 24 points and had 10 rebounds, for his sixth double-double in the last eight games.

News and notes

The Aztecs’ winning streak against unranked teams was snapped at 58 with the loss. Its nine-game win streak against CSU was also put to an end.

Tapley scored 10 points for the 15th straight game, with his 10-point effort.

SDSU is now locked into a first-place tie with UNLV atop the MW standings. Both teams have conference records of 4-1.

The Aztecs next opponent is Boise State; the Broncos have yet to win a conference game this season. The game is at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Viejas Arena.