SDSU Men’s Basketball Weekly Wrap
The SDSU Men’s basketball team escaped Provo Utah with a confidence-building victory on Saturday night in front of a packed house full of BYU supporters.
The Aztecs won 76-71 in an evenly-matched game that saw two lead changes and a thrilling comeback lead by team leader Jordan Schakel’s nineteen points.
When SDSU and BYU play against each other, there is a lot of pride, tradition, and bragging rights on the line. When the two schools play basketball, it gets personal, and the two rival fan bases take it very seriously.
San Diego won the first half and outpaced BYU 36-29. In the second half, BYU jumped out to an early lead, and SDSU trailed most of the half.
Matt Mitchell drained two clutch free throws to put the Aztecs ahead with under a minute in half left in the game. After a missed BYU jump shot, Aztec-newcomer KJ Feagin sunk a pivotal three-point shot that took the momentum out of BYU’s hope of earning a win on the day. After making a few free throws to hold off the Cougars, San Diego prevailed with the coveted win away from home.
Earlier in the week, SDSU earned their first victory on the year at home.
They played Texas Southern University, which gave the Aztecs a chance to display their dominance. In the first eleven minutes, Schakel scored three different three-pointers as San Diego surged ahead with an overwhelming pace. The Aztecs have been energized by newcomers Malachi Flynn and Feagin, who solidified their offensive approach with consistency, structure, and ability to run an organized offense that demands accountability from each position. The Aztecs beat Texas Southern 77-42, and both Schakel and Flynn tied for a team-high 15 points on the Tuesday night matchup.
The Aztecs have started the season strong. Their newcomers have changed the character of the Aztec squad, and Flynn looks like an influential leader with a great ability to distribute the basketball to high percentage shots on the court. Defensively, Nathan Mensah and Aguek Arop have grown bigger over the offseason and are proving to be a more significant asset this season than the last.
Coach Brian Dutcher is in his third season as head coach, and his 2019 squad is impressive. Every victory they earn will help to confirm their expectations that they can be a real contender in this year’s NCAA basketball season. Matchups that test the team resiliency will build grit, and winning those close battles galvanizes the team.
Up next, the Aztecs are playing Grand Canyon University at home and want to avenge a couple of bitter losses over the past few years.
Tip-off is at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, November 13th.