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SDSU Basketball: Battle for the Mountain West Round 1 (No.6/7 SDSU vs. UNM)

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

The San Diego State Aztecs will travel to the Pit (15,411) this Saturday. The Aztecs (23-2; 12-1 Mountain West) will enter Saturday’s game as the underdogs against New Mexico (20-5; 11-2 Mountain West). The starting five for the Aztecs will be JJ O’Brien, Josh Davis, Skylar Spencer, Winston Shepard and Xavier Thames. The players to watch in Saturday’s game are Xavier Thames, Winston Shepard and Josh Davis. Xavier Thames enters the game against UNM averaging 17.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 25 games this season. Winston Shepard enters the game against UNM averaging 12.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in 24 games this season. Josh Davis enters the game against UNM averaging 9.0 points and 10.7 rebounds in 23 games this season.

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

The Aztecs are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc. The Aztecs are shooting 43.9% from the floor and 36.0% from behind the arc. The Aztecs need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 65.4%. The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. The Aztecs have out rebounded teams this year 975 to 838. San Diego State is ranked 6th in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 Poll and is ranked 7th in the  USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll. This is just the second time in school history that the Aztecs have been ranked in the Top 10. The San Diego State Aztecs have one of the best field goal defense in the nation! San Diego State’s opponent’s has been averaging a field goal percentage of just 37.6% and 28.4% from beyond the arc. The Aztecs have been bringing massive press on opponent’s this season thanks to a very deep bench. This has allowed the Aztecs to use the full court press for a majority of every game.

The Lobos have some height on their team with Merv Lindsay (6-7), Nick Banyard (6-8), Cameron Bairstow (6-9), Alex Kirk (7-0) and Obij Aget (7-1). The smallest players on the Lobo team are Chris Perez (6-0), Cleveland Thomas (6-3) and Hugh Greenwood (6-3). The key players to watch coming into Saturday’s game for UNM are Cameron Bairstow, Alex Kirk and Kendall Williams. Cameron Bairstow enters the game averaging 20.2 points and 7.1 rebounds in 25 games this season. Alex Kirk enters the game averaging 14.3 points and 8.4 rebounds in 23 games this season. Kendall Williams enters the game averaging 17.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 25 games this season. The Lobos have a good-sized squad that will put up a fight on the boards against a talented Aztec squad.

Keys for Victory:

San Diego State University:

1) Shoot more than 45% from the floor!

2) Point’s in the paint!

3) Only shoot 3-point shot’s that are open!

4) Limit turnovers!

5) Attack the boards (A MUST)!

6) Get New Mexico in foul trouble!

University New Mexico

1) Force SDSU to shoot from the perimeter.

2) Force SDSU to commit turnovers.

3) Win the defensive battle of the boards.

4) Try and get SDSU to foul out.

 

Notes:

  • Steve Fisher has won 303 games at San Diego State.
  • San Diego State has won 19 straight games when leading at halftime.
  • San Diego State has won 113 straight games when leading with five minutes left to play.
  • San Diego State has a record of 31-4 when ranked in the Top 10
  • San Diego State is 5-3 in the past eight trips to the Pit. The rest of the Mountain West Conference during that time is 9-45 and the rest of the nation is 15-110!

Game Day Information

February 22nd Tipoff is at 8:05 M.T. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

TV: ESPN 2

Radio: Mighty 1090

 

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About DavidSDSU (958 Articles)
I graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies. I am also the Founder and CEO of San Diego Sports Domination. I am an award winning blogger and have been covering San Diego State Athletics and San Diego Sports for the past 8 years. I have written many guest articles and have appeared in many podcasts. I have been a guest on all San Diego Sports Radio & TV stations. My articles have been linked to news websites all over the United States. I run this website in my spare time for fun. At my day job, I am a Digital Assistant for STN Digital a Digital Marketing Agency that works in the Sports & Entertainment Industry.

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