Aztecs roll at Fresno State, 67-53


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Credit: SDSU Athletics

Bulldog Stadium- Fresno, California

After a slow start, the San Diego State Aztecs cruised to a victory on the road against the Fresno State Bulldogs, 67-53.

The Aztecs spent a week in between games and got off to a very sluggish start, trailing 11-0. SDSU head coach Brian Dutcher called a timeout, and his team responded quickly with a 19-0 run and never looked back.

“I told them I was glad their run was at the start of the game because we had a lot of time to get back in it,” Dutcher said. “Basketball is a game of runs. They hit a couple of threes early, but we got ourselves composed and went on a big run to establish ourselves and build a nice first-half lead.”

The usuals, Matt Mitchell and Jordan Schackel, once again reached double figures in scoring. Mitchell led the way for the Aztecs with 19 points and five rebounds to go with it.

However, the second-leading scorer on Thursday for the Aztecs is normally not a high-profile scorer. Trey Pulliam put together an awe-inspiring offensive performance, scoring 18 points on 8-14 shooting, including two 3-pointers and three assists.

“I think this was by far Trey’s best offensive game as an Aztec,” Dutcher said.

If the best ball distributor for San Diego State can score like he did Thursday, the Aztecs’ offense will be much better, and more shots will become open when opposing defenses respect Pulliam as a scorer.

I just use it as confidence, coming out and taking open shots,” Pulliam said. “Once I see one go in, it’s a lot easier to make the next one.”


Both the Aztecs and Bulldogs play at a very slow pace, with both ranking outside the top 275 in adjusted tempo, according to KenPom. Seeing that San Diego State only scored 67 points is very misleading due to the game’s pace. SDSU made just over 48% of their shots on Thursday, as well as going 5-15 from behind the arc.

Aguek Arop missed Thursday’s contest with symptoms of vertigo. Throughout the season, Arop has battled with vertigo symptoms all year. San Diego State needs him to be healthy for March as he adds a ton of defensive versatility to one of the nation’s best defenses.

The Aztecs and Bulldogs will go at it again on Saturday. This will be the final road game for San Diego State this season, with a home series against the Boise State Broncos capping the regular season. Tip-off on Saturday is at 4:30 p.m. PST.

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