LAS VEGAS -- Per usual, the San Diego State Aztec fans came out strong to support their squad, taking the fairly short 5 hour drive from San Diego to Las Vegas to watch their team take on the #5 seeded Nevada Wolfpack.
Both squads came out in a frenzied pace. Malik Pope's outside shooting gave the Aztecs an early boost but multiple contributions from the Wolfpack allowed them to keep things close for much of the first half. But, offensive ball movement seemed to stagnant for Reno in the final minutes of the half, in one case even leading to a shot clock violation. Right now, the Aztecs have the lead 34-24.
Here's three things to watch for in the second half:
1. Can Reno keep up with the fast pace of the Aztecs?
With just 8:17 left in the first half, Reno's Coach Eric Musselman was forced to call a time out because his team was looking gassed and down by 10. Reno, which does not have the depth of the Aztecs, will have to dig deep to out run SDSU in the second half.
2. Can key Aztecs keep the good shooting going?
The Aztecs are shooting nearly 40%, a team not usually known for their outside shooting prowess. Already with the strength advantage inside, if the Aztecs can shoot well especially from beyond the arc, Reno will find themselves in some trouble since they are currently shooting 30% field goal and 20% from 3-point land.
3. Is Marqueze Coleman's foul trouble going to factor into this game?
Arguably Reno's most consistent player is Marqueze Coleman, but Coach Musselman was forced to take him out of the game when he earned his third personal foul with four minutes left in the first half. Even though he has yet to be effective tonight, his availability will figure significantly in the last 20 minutes.