SDSU looks to reach 20-0 against Wyoming

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The San Diego State Aztecs men’s basketball team looks to go 20-0 on the season Tuesday vs. the Wyoming Cowboys. 

With Saturday’s 68-55 win over the Nevada Wolfpack, the San Diego State Aztecs moved to 19-0 and the #4 ranking in the latest AP poll. An impressive second half put an even bigger target on SDSU’s back, as they are the only remaining undefeated team in the nation.

The 5-15 Wyoming Cowboys come to town, and Viejas Arena still looking for their first win in Mountain West Conference play. Wyoming has lost six straight contests, including a 65-50 loss to the Fresno State Bulldogs this past Saturday.

On January 8th, the San Diego State Aztecs traveled to Laramie and dominantly defeated Wyoming 72-52. The Aztecs shot a stellar 52.1% from the field, along with shooting 34.8% from behind the arc. Wyoming was nowhere near as efficient as SDSU from the floor, shooting a lackluster 33.3% throughout the game. SDSU was led by Malachi Flynn and Yanni Wetzell, who had 19 and 17 points, respectively. Hunter Maldonado led the Cowboys with 18 points.

The player to watch for Wyoming is 100%, Hunter Maldonado. Not only was he the leading scorer against SDSU earlier this season, but he is also far and away the team’s leading scorer for the season. His 17.4 PPG leads the Cowboys by over seven points and ranks 4th in the Mountain West. He is a very skilled and physical guard who likes to go inside and drive to the hoop but also shoots at 31.2% from behind the line. His 6-foot-8 frame allows him to thrive inside, making him difficult to guard. Along with his scoring capabilities, Maldonado also leads the team in rebounds and assists. Priority number one should be to lock down Maldonado.

Another player to watch for is senior guard Jake Hendricks. In four of his last five games, Hendricks has double-digit points and shot 30% or higher from behind the line. With his recent hot streak of scoring and experienced play, he could perform to a high level. It is worth noting that in his last game against SDSU, he failed to make a shot from the floor. Hendricks could use this game as motivation.

San Diego State comes in averaging 74.8 PPG, which is much higher than Wyoming’s 60.2 PPG. SDSU also allows fewer points per game at 56.8 PPG, compared to 67.1 PPG for Wyoming. Barring an off-night, the Aztecs should cruise to victory.

A 20-0 start is on the line for SDSU on Tuesday. That feat has only been accomplished once is Aztec basketball history, back in the 2010-11 season with Kawhi Leonard.

Tip-off for Tuesday’s game is at 8:00 P.M.(PST) at Viejas Arena. You can watch the game on CBS Sports Network.

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Dominic Stearn
Dominic is currently a Freshman at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He was formerly a Staff Writer for Pulse Magazine, writing about the Padres, the MLB, and the NFL.

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