“We played really, really strong-willed together,” said coach Steve Fisher via GoAztecs.com. “We have a good team. We wholesale subbed several times out of how we were playing. I thought we needed to. When we went to the bench, we got great, great play off the guys coming in.”
In fact, the Aztecs bench scored 21 points on the night, 16 of the coming from freshman forward Malik Pope.
The 16 points were the most he had scored since dropping 22 points at Colorado St. on Jan. 24.
“We have a team full of guys that when you bring them in you expect them to play well. That is what we have been able to do,” Fisher said. “(Pope) has made progress, no question about it. He has made progress in a lot of different areas.”
Senior point guard Aqeel Quinn paced the team with 20 points, the second time this season, and his career, that he has scored 20 points.
12 of those 20 points came from 3-pointers (4-5) and he is now one of 20 Aztecs in school history to make 70 career 3-pointers.
On the defensive end, junior center Skylar Spencer grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and four blocks. Spencer currently sits in second place for the school’s all-time career block record (211) and trails the top spot by three.
The win Tuesday night gave Fisher his 18th career victory over New Mexico, 10 more than any other active coach in the NCAA.
SDSU (21-6, 11-3) still holds a one game lead over Wyoming for first place in the Mountain West with four games left to play.
The team will now travel to play a struggling San Jose State (2-22, 0-12) this Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.