The San Diego State Aztecs bounced back with a win over Colorado State after suffering their first loss of the season to UNLV on Saturday.
The 5th-ranked Aztecs (27-1, 16-1) were fueled by a second-half comeback en route to the 66-60 victory.
In the first half, SDSU only shot 35.7% from the field, albeit with six threes. After opening the game with an 11-2 lead, that quickly disappeared as the Rams (19-11, 10-7) scored the next 12. Matt Mitchell led the first half with 13 points, while Malachi Flynn was cold, shooting 0-for-6 from the field.
Going into the half down two, the Aztecs did not come out strong.
After trailing 56-49 with just over eight minutes remaining, the country’s No. 5 team went on a 13-0 run, giving them a six-point lead. With under 20 seconds remaining, the Rams missed a potential go-ahead three-pointer, and San Diego State hit multiple clutch free throws to seal the win. Flynn, who finished with 17 points, got hot at the end, scoring 10 of the Aztecs’ last 17. Flynn is a redshirt junior and may have played his last game at Viejas Arena, should he test NBA waters. Mitchell finished with 15 points, and junior guard Jordan Schakel scored 11. The Aztecs’ second-half defense played a huge part in the win, holding the Rams to only 28% from the field and 10% from behind the arc.
The sold-out Viejas Arena crowd honored three seniors Tuesday night-KJ Feagin, Yanni Wetzell, and Nolan Narain.
After the game, KJ Feagin stated, “We still feel disrespected…we have a chip on our shoulder after winning 26 in a row. It’s not easy; if it was, all the big teams would be doing it”. Feagin then went on to talk about the amazing homecourt advantage that the team feels, and about the great team defense they play. “I can’t even explain the atmosphere…all those people come out there to see us. Our defense can make us as good as any team in the country…I don’t see why not”. Feagin statistically plays some of the best defense in the country, and he really shows up for his team.
San Diego State will look to end the regular season with a win as they travel to Nevada (19-10, 12-5) on Saturday, their last game before they head to Las Vegas for the Mountain West Tournament.
Bobby is currently a senior at Arizona State University and is majoring in Sports Journalism in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He expects to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Fall 2023. Bobby is from San Diego, loves to write and has a deep passion for baseball, football, and basketball. He also co-hosts the “Devils Talking Padres” podcast, contributes for ZonaHoops.com and is a digital reporter and photographer for Cronkite News/Arizona PBS.