In a double punch of bad luck and bad timing, San Diego State men’s basketball team had two senior captains injured Sunday that contributed to the 93-86 upset loss to Washington State at the Wooden Legacy tournament final.
The Aztecs (5-2) were looking to be repeat champions after winning the tournament in 2013, instead, Malik Pope and Trey Kell injured their ankles in the game. SDSU was the favorite to win the tournament but instead, the team was upset by Washington State, who was projected to finish last in the Pacific 12 Conference in the preseason media poll.
Pope hurt his right ankle five minutes into the game and Kell hurt his left ankle with 6:38 left in the game. San Diego State just couldn’t survive having of two its best players injured.
Pope played for a few minutes more after he had his ankle re-taped, but sat out for the rest of the game after that. Kell returned to the game after he injured his ankle but didn’t score any more points.
Even with two injuries, it was a back and forth game with the Aztecs up by nine points with 8:25 to go in the game but the Cougars (6-0) went on a 25-9 run in the closing eight minutes for the win.
Devin Watson led the Aztecs with 23 points, followed by Kell with 19 points. Matt Mitchell scored 12 points. Pope scored four points before he was taken out of the game.
The loss was SDSU’s first in six games at the Wooden Legacy. The Aztecs now return home to face the unbeaten USD Toreros at the Jenny Craig Pavillion at 8 p.m. Thursday.
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