The win also snaps a two-game losing streak for the Aztecs. It was the third win in nine games for SDSU.
Wyoming (16-10, 7-6 Mountain West) defeated SDSU (14-10, 6-7) in the conference opener on Dec. 27 in Laramie. This time around, the Aztecs outscored the Cowboys 40-1 off the bench, which had only scored 10 points in the previous two games. Both were losses.
Sophomore Nolan Narain came up big time for the Aztecs, scoring a career-high 18 points off the bench. His previous season-high was 10 points scored in the Wooden Legacy against Washington State.
“It was great to have that type of production off the bench,” Aztec coach Brian Dutcher said. “Nolan is a true center. So he really rolls to the basket aggressively, and his hands are up. You saw some quality post moves from him inside. ”
Freshman reserve guard Jorden Schakel also scored 14 points for SDSU.The Aztecs at one point had a 23-point lead and they led 51-31 at halftime.
SDSU has often blown big leads this season, and it almost happened again this time. The Cowboys pulled within nine points twice in the final five minutes off big shots from Hunter Maldonado and Alen Herndon. The Aztecs were able to hold the Cowboy’s rally with Jalen McDaniels scoring twice in the final minutes and Jeremy Hemsley’s jumper.
Jalen McDaniels scored 16 points with 4 rebounds, Devin Watson had 13 points and Malik Pope scored 10 points, becoming the 33rd member of SDSU’s 1,000-point club with exactly 1,000 points for his career.
This game also saw the return of Trey Kell, who had been sidelined by a sprained ankle. He scored 6 points with four rebounds and 6 assists, his second-most assists in a game this season, just one shy of his all-time high this season.
“Great to have Trey Kell back. It’s the steadiness and the calming influence to have a senior and captain on the floor,” Dutcher said. “He just plays at a different pace than the young kids because he is an older player. He has just learned over the years to play at a better pace.”
SDSU next faces UNVL on Saturday at Viejas Arena.
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