San Diego State overcame a challenge by UT Arlington Saturday, winning 68-62 on the strength of their free-throw shooting.
SDSU (3-1) shot 88% from the line, making 30 of 34 free throws, led by Matt Bradley, with seven.
Bradley also paced the Aztecs with 15 points while Trey Pulliam added 11.
But San Diego State played rough – they shot 35% from the field while turning the ball over 17 times and allowing 17 offensive rebounds to the Mavericks (1-4).
“We just had enough toughness to get by,” head coach Brian Dutcher told XTRA 1360. “We didn’t play particularly well.”
SDSU, heavily favored, led by just three at the half, and UT Arlington chased them down with 8:38 to play to tie the game at 46. But in less than two minutes, the Aztecs reeled off nine points, including three-pointers by Bradley and Lamont Butler, to re-take the lead.
They built a 10-point advantage with just under four minutes left in the game, and held on despite not scoring a field goal the remainder of the game.
San Diego State faces Georgetown at 9 p.m. Thursday in a Thanksgiving Day game that is part of the Wooden Legacy event.
The other Wooden Legacy Thanksgiving game, at 6 p.m., features USC, No. 25 on the Associated Press Top 25, and St. Joseph’s.
Correction: The original piece misstated the game times.