The San Diego State Aztecs lost their first game of the 2019-2020 season. UNLV came into San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 22, and beat the Aztecs 66-63 at Viejas Arena.
After trailing the Runnin’ Rebels by double digits multiple times, San Diego State’s last offensive run fell short, and the Aztecs’ undefeated streak came to an end. Two of the three teams ranked ahead of San Diego State also lost on Saturday. Gonzaga fell to BYU 91-78, and Kansas beat Baylor 64-61. After all of the weekend losses in college basketball, the Aztecs moved down just one spot in the AP Top 25 Poll to the fifth-ranked team in the country.
After the game, Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher spoke about the disappointing loss in the postgame press conference. “We have to use this moment to find a way to get better. That’s what I always say about Aztec basketball: we get better as the season goes on. We’ll learn lessons in defeat, and we will come back tomorrow. I told them the other good news about basketball is we play again right away. We play on Tuesday, so we’re not going to sit here and dwell on this, we’re going to pick a few things up that we think we need to do better, and come out and have a better performance on Senior Night against Colorado State,” Dutcher said.
As the only undefeated team in the nation for more than a month, San Diego State forced its way into the national conversation about the NCAA’s best teams. Malachi Flynn, who led the Aztecs with 24 points on the night, spoke to the media after the game about how he plans to move forward after a tough loss. “It was a reality check that we’re not invincible. A loss is a loss. We can’t do anything about it. Got to move on to the next game,” Flynn said.
The Aztecs remain at home for their next game and will play Colorado State on Tuesday at Viejas Arena.
The Rams are coming off a 78-71 home win over San Jose State. The Rams lost to the Aztecs during the two teams’ first meeting, 79-57. In that last game against the Aztecs back on Dec. 4, Nico Caravacho led the Rams in scoring with 16 points and in rebounding with 11. Since then, Colorado State has gone 13-6 and sits in the fifth position in the Mountain West Conference with a 19-10 record.
The Rams travel to Viejas Arena and face a sold-out crowd for the Aztecs’ senior night. The Aztecs hope to earn their 27th win and put an exclamation point on an outstanding season. San Diego State hosts their last home game of the season that tips off at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The Aztecs then travel to Nevada on Saturday, Feb. 29 to close out their regular season against the Wolf Pack, who hold the third spot in the Mountain West Standings.