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San Diego State vs. Fresno State recap: Aztecs stumble against Bulldogs, 58-57

The Aztecs' 11-game win streak grinds to a halt as the pesky Bulldogs played better down the stretch.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego State Aztecs took on the Fresno State Bulldogs riding an 11-game win streak, pounding through the Mountain West Conference. But the Aztecs traveled north on the 5 knowing the Bulldogs had ended their 47-game win streak against teams from California a year ago. And because of the lackluster RPI of the Mountain West this season, the Aztecs essentially walk a tightrope until selection Sunday.

Despite catching a lucky break -- the Bulldogs were without their two big men, Torren Jones and Karachi Edo, on Wednesday night -- San Diego State lost to Fresno State at the Save Mart Center, 58-57. The Aztecs held an almost two-to-one rebound advantage in the first half and finished the game with a 12-rebound edge, but those boards did not equate to better shooting or ball handling.

The Aztecs simply played two sloppy halves. They gave the ball to the Bulldogs 12 times in the first half and six more in the second. Despite this, the gritty Aztecs held double-digit leads in both halves. SDSU went on a 14-point run at one point, though sloppiness allowed Fresno State to rally back with a 12-point run of their own. They even held a 30-29 lead at the break, in spite of a field goal drought during the last six and a half minutes of the first half.

The same story repeated itself after halftime, as well: SDSU had a 12-0 run, but they allowed Fresno State back in. The Aztecs could not find the dagger they needed.

In the absence of significant help, Marvelle Harris put the Bulldogs on his back, scoring 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Being a leader also means having situational awareness, though, and he nearly became the night's goat when he left the door open for a final Aztec play, after a missed 3-pointer with 15 seconds left.

Jeremy Hemsley led Aztec scorers with 18 points, but turned over the ball twice. Trey Kell also had a strong showing (13 points in the first half, 16 in total), but he turned the ball over four times and missed the game-winning shot. And Matt Shrigley still hasn't found his stroke yet, either, missing his only 3-point attempt. If that weren't enough, SDSU underperformed at the free throw line, too, shooting just 13-of-21, missing key free throws in the last 90 seconds.

One silver lining, at the very least, is that the Aztecs did not lead at 5:00, so the famed "streak" was not in play Wednesday. Boise State's questionable loss at Colorado State also softens the blow a bit, but the loss probably means that SDSU, like the rest of the conference, will have to operate with little margin for error in pursuit of the (increasingly likely) lone Mountain West berth. They'll attempt to regroup on Saturday at home against Air Force, while the Bulldogs will hit the road to face Nevada.