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In some ways, this game mirrored the one against the Cowboys. The Aztecs (10-4, 2-1 Mountain West) were on elevation in a bitterly cold climate with a three-point lead at halftime. But Fort Collins, Colorado wasn’t Laramie, Wyoming, and the Aztecs beat the Rams, 77-68, in front of a subdued crowd of 3,020 at Moby Arena.
For several moments in the second half, it seemed as though the Aztecs hadn’t learned anything in the loss at Laramie. There were 11 turnovers and for a brief moment, the Aztecs let a 55-74 lead become a 60-61 deficit with less than six minutes to go. The Rams (8-8, 1-2) would lead for only 19 seconds before redshirt freshman Jalen McDaniels scored off a pass from Trey Kell.
The Aztecs went on a 17-7 run, led by Kell, to secure the win and snap the Rams’ 11-game-regular-season-home-winning streak. Seven of Kell’s 11 points came in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the game. The star of the game, however, was McDaniels. The forward scored a career-high 19 points and 10 rebounds — his third double-double. McDaniel made 8 of 11 from the field.
Colorado State‘s defense held San Diego State to 39.4 percent shooting in the first half but faltered in the second, allowing the Aztecs to shoot 60 percent, including 6 of 10 from the three.
Jeremy Hemsley scored 13 points and Devin Watson scored 11 for San Diego State. With the win, SDSU snapped a three-game losing streak against Colorado State, all of which came from last season. The Aztecs improved to 41-41 all-time in the series.
San Diego will take a week off before hosting San Jose State at Viejas Arena next Tuesday.
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