The San Diego State Aztecs game against the Kansas Jayhawks would be one of the hottest tickets in town. The Bill Self and the no. 2 Jayhawks come to Viejas Arena on the final game of a home-and-home series. The last time these two teams played was in January 2014, but under so many different circumstances.This game saw the Jayhawks win by double fitures, 70-57.
The Aztecs were going into Allen Fieldhouse with a strong senior leadership under Josh Davis and Xavier Thames. And it helped that Skylar Spencer also had a career day in points against future NBA players Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins.
From the jump, the Aztecs had a glimmer of hope that they would be able to return to form despite losing the Grand Canyon and recently San Diego. But the Jayhawks started to pull away at the 15:00 minute mark where they went Back-to-back-to-back on three-pointers from Frank Mason III and Perry Ellis. Overall Kansas went 8-19 on three-pointers.
The story of the Aztecs’ 2015-16 campaign continued-- simply not shooting. The first half scoring leader for the Aztecs’ was Ben Perez with 8 points. The Aztecs shot another dismal game at 37% from the field and 37.5% from beyond the arc. It’s hard to see the Aztecs win when their field goal percentages are that low.
It’s not the Aztecs can’t get it into gear. It’s might be the kids don't know how to drive the car. Freshman point-guard Jeremy Hemsley cannot find his stroke-- shooting only 33% from the field, and his youth shows adding four turnovers to his 29 total turnovers this season. Again the senior leadership that’s been hyped up is nowhere to be found, and despite playing 26 minutes Winston Shepard scored only 9 points shoot 3-for-8 from the field and 3-for-6 from the charity stripe.
The Aztecs never led the game but came within four points on a 14-6 run midway through the second half.
But no one on this Aztecs’ roster help themselves get over the edge. Missed dunk and missed shots coupled with turnovers, mistakes sealed it in favor of the Jayhawks.
Credit the best team in the country and players like Perry Ellis who stepped up for the Kansas squad and kept The Show and Viejas Arena uneasy. Coming into the game the Jayhawks were averaging 89.8 points per game, and the Kansas team deserves to be the best team in the country.
This San Diego State team has now faced back-to-back losses at home and have an uphill climb entering Mountain West play. It what appears to be an uncommon down year in the Mountain West, the Aztecs’ season might come down to three games in March at the Thomas and Mack Center.