San Diego State made it eight straight wins Saturday, taking advantage of Fresno State mistakes for a 75-57 victory.
SDSU did what they had to do over the course of the 10-game stretch of matchups with lesser Mountain West competition that began Jan. 22, winning every game by double digits, and four by 30 points or more. (The conference canceled two games with New Mexico, as the Lobos reportedly lacked enough scholarship players to suit up.)
With Saturday’s win, the No. 25 Aztecs (17-4, 11-3 in MW ) return home for their final two scheduled games of the season, beginning Thursday against Boise State (18-4, 14-3 in MW), the team that sits atop the MW standings.
The Broncos are coming off two wins against Utah State (14-7, 11-4), a team that took two from the Aztecs in January.
Despite SDSU’s recent offensive dominance, coach Brian Dutcher said the team must continue to rely on its top-ranked defense.
“It’s defense that wins games, close games, we all know that,” he said. “If we’re going to be the team we want to be and hang a banner, it’s going to be at the defensive end.”
San Diego State spread the scoring around Saturday against Fresno State. Jordan Schakel led with 14 points, while Matt Mitchell and Terrell Gomez followed with 13 each. Trey Pulliam added eight points, Keshad Johnson had seven and Lamont Butler had six.
The Aztecs never trailed in the game as the Bulldogs turned the ball over 15 times – mistakes that SDSU converted for 30 points.
They also had three three-pointers in the first five minutes of the game – two by Schakel and one by Gomez. Dutcher said the moves “opened up the offense for us.”
Thursday’s game with Boise State starts at 6 p.m. and will air on FS1. Saturday’s game time is TBA.