Aztecs go Bronco busting, avoid upset bid

by Antonio Morales

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

A win is a win is a win and the San Diego State men’s basketball team won’t apologize to anyone after its latest conquest.

It was the win that almost wasn’t. Boise State’s Thomas Bropleh had a wide-open look at the game-winning 3-pointer and his shot went halfway down before it eventually rimmed out.
It was a bit of luck, but SDSU will take it.

“The only thing going through my mind was please miss it,” junior guard Chase Tapley said. “I was just praying that it would roll out and it did. The basketball gods saved us.”

Sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin, once again, led the Aztecs in scoring with 16 points; he also recorded eight rebounds.

With the win SDSU improved its overall record to 19-3 and 5-1 in Mountain West Conference play.

The unusual suspects
Sophomores LaBradford Franklin and Alec Williams may not be the most recognizable names on the Aztec squad, but they made a recognizable impact in last night’s game.

LaBradford Franklin scored five points, while Williams scored six, but those two players and the rest of the bench helped settle SDSU down in the second half when the team fell behind by 12 points.

“I thought our bench, when we went with Alec Williams, LaBradford Franklin and Deshawn Stephens, we took ourselves from 12 or 14 behind and gave ourselves the opportunity to win the game,” head coach Steve Fisher said after the game.

“They deserve immense credit for coming in and playing.”

LaBradford Franklin said the goal was to give the team some energy.

“We just tried to give our team a spark any way we could,” Franklin said. “Our main goal was to get that spark going.”

Dominating the charity stripe
The Aztecs aren’t known as one of the strongest free throw shooting teams, but last night they won the game partly because of their work at the line.
The team went 25-for-29 at the free throw line, scoring 86.2 percent.
Everything was smooth from the line except for Tapley’s miss at the end of the game, which gave the Broncos a chance at the win.
“Coach Fish harps on (free throw shooting) every day,” Tapley said. “We’re getting to become a great free throw shooting team. That’s probably the reason why we won the game.”

News and notes

  • Another reason SDSU was able to claw its way out of its 12-point deficit was because of its second-half defense.
  • After allowing 33 points in the first half, the Aztecs only allowed 23 points after the break. Boise State also had 12 turnovers in the second half.
  • SDSU has now gone 77 consecutive games without suffering back-to-back losses. That streak is the fifth longest in the nation.
  • This was the second all-time meeting between the two schools. The Aztecs claimed the victory in both games.
  • SDSU, with its 19-3 record, is off to its second-best start in school history.
  • Junior guard James Rahon had a quiet night. He took only five shots, connecting on one of them for three points.
  • It was the fourth time SDSU overcame a double-digit deficit and won this season.
  • The team’s next game will be against TCU at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Viejas Arena.