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SDSU Basketball: Battle for the Mountain West Round 2 (No.10 SDSU vs. UNM)

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

The San Diego State Aztecs will play host to the New Mexico Lobos at Viejas Arena (12,414) this Saturday. The Aztecs (26-2; 15-2 Mountain West) will enter Saturday’s game as 4 point favorites against New Mexico (24-5; 15-2 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 16.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 29 games this season. Winston Shepard enters the game against UNM averaging 12.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in 28 games this season. Josh Davis enters the game against UNM averaging 8.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in 27 games this season. This is also senior night for Xavier Thames and Josh Davis.

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 44.1% from the floor and 36.4% from behind the arc. The Aztecs need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 65.2%. The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. The Aztecs have out rebounded teams this year 1122 to 959. San Diego State is ranked 10th in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 Poll and is ranked 10th in the  USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll. This is just the third 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 38.3% and 29.2% 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.

Xavier was asked about what senior night at Viejas Arena will be like for him:

“…It will probably hit me when they call my name for Senior Night. I’ve enjoyed it here. There’s no other place I’d rather be than at San Diego State. I just love all the fans and the whole community…”

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 20.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 29 games this season. Alex Kirk enters the game averaging 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds in 27 games this season. Kendall Williams enters the game averaging 16.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 29 games this season. The Lobos have a good-sized squad that will put up a fight on the boards against a talented Aztec squad.

Lobos you all better be ready to play because the Aztecs will be waiting! 

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

The following is from the Aztec Student Union:

Show your Aztec Pride before heading to Viejas Arena for the Men’s Basketball game by celebrating in traditions, old and new, with your SDSU community. Enjoy a DJ, photo booth, free food and giveaways, prizes, and more! The celebration will include a pep rally and a march to Viejas Arena. Don’t have a ticket for the game? No worries! Watch the Aztecs defeat the Lobos in the Union Theatre!

See full schedule of events below:

*Aztec Celebration
3:00pm – 5:00pm, Lee and Frank Goldberg Courtyard
Show your Aztec Pride and enjoy a DJ, photo booth, airbrush tattoos, free food, giveaways, and more!

*Pep Rally
4:30pm – 5:00pm, Lee and Frank Goldberg Courtyard
Join band, cheer, dance, and your fellow Aztecs as we cheer on the Men’s Basketball team before the final game of the season.

*Men’s Basketball Viewing Party
6:00pm, Union Theatre
Don’t have a ticket for the game? Come watch the Aztec men defeat New Mexico in the Union Theatre!

***Aztec Faithful Attending Sat’s game ***

• SDSU Football Team being honored for their Potato Bowl Win in Dec.
• NFL Hall of Fame Marshall Faulk “Aztec for Life”
• SD Mayor Kevin Faulconer “Aztec for Life”
• Heath Farwell, Seattle Seahawks LB, Super Bowl Champ “Aztec for Life”
• Zylan Chetham- SDSU MBB Commit 2014 (in photo below)
• Nate Grimes (6’8”, 190) 2015 Las Vegas, NV- Current HS Jr., Sm. Forward- received an offer from SDSU on Mar.3rd, attending this game. (3-4 Star) (in photo below)
• Numerous Aztec Alumni Athletes

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 306 games at San Diego State.
  • San Diego State has won 21 straight games when leading at halftime.
  • San Diego State has won 115 straight games when leading with five minutes left to play.
  • San Diego State is 73-6 at Viejas Arena since the name change in 2009.
  • San Diego State has a record of 31-5 when ranked in the Top 10
  • San Diego State or New Mexico have won 9 of the last 10 Mountain West regular-season and tournament championships.

Game Day Information

March 8th Tipoff is at 7:00 pm P.T. San Diego, California.

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio: Mighty 1090

Photo Credit: Go Aztecs

Photo Credit: Go Aztecs

 

 

Highlights from San Diego States loss at New Mexico

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About DavidSDSU (951 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 blogged for FanSided 150 (Recruiting Website), FanSided's SDSU Site (Surf The Spear which is no longer online) and have written guest blogs on SDSU. I have been a guest on all San Diego Sports Radio stations ( ESPN 1700 San Diego, Mighty 1090 and Xtra Sports 1360). 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 Sports Social Media Editor for STN Digital a Digital Marketing Agency that works in the Sports & Entertainment Industry.

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