San Diego State was all business in its 73-39 victory over the Utah State Aggies in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament in Las Vegas.
It's usually tough to beat a team three times in the same season. When it comes to beating the Aggies, it keeps getting easier for the Aztecs. The first meeting between the teams went to overtime, but the Aztecs prevailed 74-69. Three weeks later, San Diego State beat Utah State by 15 points in San Diego. And now in the conference tournament, the margin of victory was 34, the largest between any two teams in conference tournament history.
The Aztecs started the game on an 8-0 run as the Aggies missed their first nine shots. That set the stage for the rest of the game. San Diego State is known for playing tough defense, but when they are making shots on offense, they are really difficult to beat.
Xavier Thames led the Aztecs with 15 points and seven assists. Winston Shepard had 13 points. Josh Davis added 13 rebounds, eight points and six steals. Aztecs starters were able to rest much of the second half and should be ready to go for Saturday's game.
Jarred Shaw was the only bright spot for the Aggies. He had 14 points. The other four starters combined for just eight points on 2-of-15 shooting.
Utah State is one of the top three-point shooting teams in the country, averaging 41% field goal shooting from beyond the arc. San Diego State is not a good perimeter shooting team, but they matched Utah State 41% season average on their three pointers while holding the Aggies to 10% on 1-of-10 three point shots.
Prior to the game, San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher said: "Hopefully we'll be motivated to get greedy to get two championships in the span of a week." Against the Aggies, the Aztecs showed that they were highly motivated and focused on victory more than getting a few extra days of rest.
Next up, San Diego State will face the winner of UNLV and Wyoming.