Coming off two disappointing losses on the road, the Aztecs needed to bounce back and add another non-conference victory to their resume. However, that was not the case as the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-4) defeated the San Diego State Aztecs (4-4) on the road 74-63.
The Aztecs came out with energy and looked solid in the opening minutes of the game as they went ahead 14-4. As well, the Aztecs’ defense was solid and forced the Sun Devils into several tough shots at the end of the shot clock.
The Sun Devils would not quit as they kept the game under 10 points for the majority of the first half. Meanwhile, the Aztecs looked very sloppy during the final minutes before halftime.
Aztecs’ junior shooting guard Trey Kell led all scorers with 10 points as the Aztecs led 32-25 at halftime.
Immediately, the Sun Devils came out firing at the start of the second half with three straight three-point jumpers that tied the game at 34. The Aztecs would never lead for the remainder of the game following Tra Holder’s steal and layup that put the Sun Devils ahead 36-35 with 16:55 left.
The Aztecs were plagued by costly turnovers all game long. Despite forcing 18 turnovers, the Aztecs committed 17 turnovers and limited their chances to build a comeback. The closest the Aztecs would get was when they trailed 43-40 with 13:36 remaining.
Down the stretch, the Sun Devils were able to extend their lead by making free throws and forcing turnovers.
For Arizona State, junior guard Tra Holder led the way with 17 points, five rebounds, and four assists. In addition, they received 32 points from their bench (including 15 points each from Obinna Oleka and Torian Graham).
The Aztecs were led by Trey Kell; who finished with 20 points, five steals, and four rebounds. However, the Aztecs received small production from Malik Pope, who finished with a quiet four points and three rebounds. Max Hoetzel provided a spark for the Aztecs of the bench with 12 points and four three-pointers.
The Aztecs have not lost three-consecutive games since they lost to Utah during the 2007-08 season.
SDSU: The Aztecs will try to bounce back from another loss and face Alabama State on Monday at home.
ASU: The Sun Devils will head home to face New Mexico State next Saturday on Dec. 17th.