January 1, 2020 / 10:24 PM / 17 days ago

No. 13 San Diego State rides defense past Fresno State

EditorsNote: fixes to “KJ” in eighth graf

No. 13 San Diego State held visiting Fresno State to 34.6 percent shooting as the Aztecs won a Mountain West Conference matchup 61-52 on Wednesday at Viejas Arena.

San Diego State (14-0, 3-0 Mountain West) remained one of just two undefeated teams in college basketball — Auburn is the other — by locking down Fresno State midway through the first half and never letting up.

The Aztecs trailed 17-15 with 5:34 to go in the first half. San Diego State then scored the final 10 points before halftime.

Malachi Flynn kicked off what proved to be the decisive run with a 3-pointer, one of just three made on the day for San Diego State. Flynn finished with a team-high 16 points and grabbed five rebounds.

San Diego State’s stifling defense compensated for its own offensive struggles, particularly early. The Aztecs shot 9 of 27 from the floor in the first half, including 2 of 10 from behind the 3-point arc.

They were considerably better in the second half, attacking the paint far more than relying on the long ball. The result was a 59.1 field-goal percentage after halftime.

Matt Mitchell scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half for San Diego State. Mitchell also grabbed six rebounds.

KJ Feagin buoyed San Diego State in its offensively anemic first half, scoring all seven of his points in the first 20 minutes.

Jarred Hyder led Fresno State with a game-high 23 points. He scored six consecutive points in the closing moments, making three free throws and then knocking down a 3-pointer to cut a 14-point San Diego State lead to eight with 48 seconds left.

The Bulldogs (4-10, 0-3) came no closer.

Orlando Robinson added 11 points for Fresno State, but no other Bulldog registered more than five.

—Field Level Media

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