Now where do we begin. The Aztecs came into the game against Florida Gulf Coast as the seven point favorites. Many San Diego State fans saw the brackets after the victory over Oklahoma and said Sweet Sixteen here we come! The Aztec fans were looking ahead to the Sweet 16 in Arlington, Texas next Friday against Florida. Not thinking in their wildest dreams that the Aztecs would be out played by the Cinderella team from Florida. The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles motto dunk city would be in full effect as they blew out San Diego State in the second half of the game. “When it ends, it ends dramatically. It ends with a train wreck. It’s never fun.” – Steve Fisher. San Diego State came out of the gate shooting horribly (1-5). As the first half of the game went on the Aztecs best bench player and senior James Rahon came alive scoring eight points in the first half. Aztec senior Chase Tapley only scored five points, one rebound, one steal and one block. The Aztec senior who was most impressive in the first half was DeShawn Stephens with eight points one block and four rebounds. Aztecs defensively played a very bad first half allowing Florida Gulf Coast to shoot 54% from the field and 59% from beyond the arc.
The Aztecs held a one point lead (35-34) over Florida Gulf Coast at halftime. The Aztecs came out of the locker room and started played what looked to be some of the best defense they had played all day. The last time the game was close between the San Diego State Aztecs and the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles was in the second half at the 9:33 mark the score was 55-52. The San Diego State Aztecs star player Jamaal Franklin had just made one of the crazier dunks of the season. Florida Gulf Coast would go on an amazing run 18 to 3 that would put the knife in the back of the Aztecs.
The Aztecs would attempt to mount a come back on Florida Gulf coast and it would be ineffective. Chase Tapley and Jamaal Franklin would start lobbing balls at the basket hopping they would fall. Right when San Diego State fans saw the lobbing of balls at the basket we knew this game was over. Tapley and Franklin would miss three-point shot after three-point shot. Eventually the San Diego State Aztecs would get a few shots by James Rahon, Chase Tapley and Jamaal Franklin to fall. It was too late and the Aztecs would fall to Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 81 to 71.
The Aztecs did seem to lose faith in themselves as the game came down the stretch. The captain of the Aztecs Jamaal Franklin got his teammates back in the game as Steve Fisher called the time out. The Aztecs came out of the time out and got the Aztecs back into the game but it was too little to late. Steve Fisher made the following comment when talking to the media after the tough loss. “There’s tears and there should be. But the pride throughout the tears is what I will remember.” The Aztecs held their heads high and competed all the way to the end.
This is was the only Aztec highlight of the game
The Mountain West conference is now the first conference in the history of the NCAA to be ranked first in the RPI rankings and not have a team in the tournament make it to the sweet sixteen. Please stay tuned as tomorrow we are going to start writing about the impact these seniors have made on the San Diego State Basketball Program. We will also know more about if Jamaal Franklin will be leaving San Diego State to join the NBA a year early or if he plan’s on staying in school for his senior season!
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