After beginning the game making just six of 14 free throw attempts, the No. 16 San Diego State Aztecs (2-0, 0-0 Mountain West) drained 12 of 13 tries from the charity stripe in the waning moments of their 53-49 victory against the No. 25 Utah Utes (1-1, 0-0 Pac-12).
SDSU's J.J. O'Brien knocked down six of those game-sealing free throws, and he finished the game leading all scorers with 12 points.
Yes, the most anybody scored in this game was 12 points. Any other scorers reach double digits? Nope.
This game was a defensive bloodbath, with both squads banging into wall after wall while trying to run offensive sets. SDSU only recorded four assists, and the Utes only had nine of their own. O'Brien was the game's top scorer even though he shot just 3-10.
Utah's Delon Wright particularly struggled figuring out SDSU's defense. Wright, a top-25 player entering the season, scored just seven points on 2-13 shooting. And all those points came in the last 1:22.
Wright's best friend, SDSU's Aqeel Quinn, guarded the Ute for most of the afternoon. On the offensive end, Quinn scored just six points on 1-6 shooting.
For the second game in a row, SDSU's Angelo Chol has been an offensive spark plug, epitomizing efficiency in the paint and getting his team buckets at crucial moments. Chol knocked down three buckets in SDSU's 9-0 run to open the second half and helped the Aztecs pry the momentum back from Utah after trailing 18-17 at halftime.
Brandon Taylor led Utah with nine points, knocking down thee 3-pointers. But the junior guard fouled out with 46 seconds to go, leaving Utah without its hottest long-range marksman when it had trimmed SDSU's lead to just three points.
SDSU will next host Cal State Bakersfield (0-3, 0-0 Western Athletic Conference) this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. PT. Utah will host UC Riverside (1-1, 0-0 Big West Conference) this Friday at 6 p.m. PT.