The San Diego State Aztecs (10-3) beat the San Diego Christian Hawks (5-5) tonight 72-50 in Viejas Arena. Five-star freshman Malik Pope had his coming-out party, showing off a little bit of every part of his game.
Pope finished with seven points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. He soared through the air for a SportsCenter Top-10 worthy one-handed dunk after blocking a shot and running the floor in the first half -- which ignited Twitter in San Diego.
Anyone still wondering what all the hype was about with Malik Pope?— Mark Zeigler (@sdutzeigler) December 28, 2014
Steve Fisher tried some different things tonight in SDSU's final tune-up before it opens Mountain West play on Dec. 31 against the Air Force Falcons.
He ran a platoon system to begin the game; Winston Shepard, J.J. O'Brien, Trey Kell, Aqeel Quinn and Skylar Spencer started the game, and D'Erryl Williams, Dakarai Allen, Angelo Chol, Malik Pope and Matt Shrigley served as the second platoon. Kevin Zabo also worked his way onto the court with the second unit.
Fisher also implemented the 1-3-1 zone in the second half -- the defensive scheme that clinched the Aztecs the regular-season MW crown against New Mexico last season. Shepard and Pope ran the point of the 1-3-1 zone.
Shepard put up good numbers again tonight, scoring 12 points and grabbing five boards.
O'Brien added nine points to go along with three rebounds and three assists.
Dwayne Polee II watched from the bench as his Aztecs won their 10th game. Polee is out indefinitely while doctors run tests to determine what exactly happened when he collapsed and seemingly lost consciousness in the first half against UC Riverside on Dec. 22.
San Diego Christian's Peter Beale-Wirsing led all scorers with 17 points on 50-percent shooting.
The Hawks now drive all night to Flagstaff to play the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks tomorrow afternoon.
The Aztecs next host Air Force at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31 to open their MW season.