San Diego, CA- It wasn’t pretty….but nevertheless it was a solid win for the No.16 San Diego State Aztecs as they held on to defeat No.25 Utah 53-49. With the win the San Diego State Aztecs are now 5-1 in their last six home games against ranked teams, 13-3 in their last 16 games against the Pac-12 and have now won 16 consecutive home games.
Coming into the game most fans expected a defensive battle between the best defensive team in the Mountain West and one of the best defensive teams in the Pac-12. Yet even with that in mind I don’t think anyone expected the game to be 18-17 at the half. Neither team could find a groove offensively in the first half, as the San Diego State Aztecs were 5-22 from the field and Utah was 6-22 from the field.
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The San Diego State Aztecs finally got into an offensive groove to begin the second half, going on a 9-0 run to begin the half to give the Aztecs a 26-18 lead. Angelo Chol lead the offensive run by knocking down three straight shots.
The Aztecs would hold onto the lead the rest of the second half despite Utah cutting the lead to three with 10 seconds left in the game, as both teams combined for 18 points in the final 46.8 seconds. The Aztecs would close out the game from the free-throw line, as Aqeel Quinn, Trey Kell, Dwayne Polee II and JJ O’Brien knocked down 13 of 14 free-throws down the stretch to seal the win.
The San Diego State Aztecs shot only 32.7 percent from the field, but won the game thanks to their dominating defense by holding Utah to only 32 percent from the field.
JJ O’Brien lead the Aztecs in scoring against his former team with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Aztecs return to the court Thursday at home against Cal State Bakersfield. Tip-off time is set for 7:30 p.m.