SDSU Mountain West NCAA
San Diego State, in Sunday’s victory over Nevada. The is in the midst of a grueling February. Photo credit: Derrick Tuskan, via goaztecs.com

After a road win in San Jose, San Diego State returns home to host Air Force at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Aztecs are in the middle of a grinding month-long schedule of 11 games in 30 days, caused by their January COVID pause and the makeup of postponements.

“We have to keep prepping because it’s game after game after game,” coach Brian Dutcher said this week.

Next up, Air Force (10-12, 3-8 Mountain West), with the fourth ranked defense in the conference, behind top-ranked SDSU. The teams boast the MW leaders in blocked shots per game – Nathan Mensah, followed by Falcon Lucas Moerman.

Last up was San Jose State, as Matt Bradley continued his torrid play with a season-high 28 points in a 72-62 defeat of the Spartans.

The senior’s 81 points in his last three games are the highest three-game total for SDSU since Jamaal Franklin scored 84 points from Feb. 25 to Mar. 3 in 2012.

“He’s hard to guard and we’ve needed every point he’s scored in these games to come out on the winning side,” Dutcher said ahead of the San Jose State contest.

Bradley said the difference for him has been being in better shape as the season has progressed, along with more comfort with SDSU’s offense.

“The shots I’m taking feel a lot more (easy) to me,” he said. “I’m not working as hard for shots. I’m trusting my teammates to give me the ball in good positions. A lot of things come together for that.”

With the win, San Diego State improved to 14-6, 6-3 in the MW, while the Spartans fell to 7-16, with no conference twins in 11 tries.

In addition to Bradley, Joshua Tomaić stood out, equaling his career high with eight rebounds. Chad Baker-Mazara added two blocks.

The Aztecs follow Air Force by welcoming Utah State (15-10, 6-6 MW) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The teams have faced off for the conference championship the last three years, with SDSU breaking through for the win last year.