February 2, 2020 / 5:46 AM / 15 days ago

No. 4 San Diego St. survives upset bid by Utah St.

EditorsNote: Shortened head; made several minor fixes throughout

Feb 1, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; A general view of Viejas Arena as t-shirts in honor of former player Kahwi Leonard are placed on every seat before the game against the Utah State Aggies. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Mitchell scored 24 of his season-high 28 points in the second half to power No. 4 San Diego State to an 80-68 comeback win over visiting Utah State on Saturday night.

San Diego State (23-0, 12-0 Mountain West Conference) trailed for the final 6:25 of the first half, and the deficit for college basketball’s lone remaining undefeated team swelled to 10 points less than a minute into the second half.

Utah State (17-7, 6-5) made seven 3-pointers in 10 attempts before intermission, but went just 2 of 11 from deep after halftime. As the Aggies cooled down, the host Aztecs heated up.

San Diego State scored 27 of its 49 second-half points from behind the 3-point arc, going 9 of 19. With Aztecs alum-turned-NBA champion Kawhi Leonard in attendance, Mitchell bombed one of his four second-half 3-pointers from well beyond professional distance.

Leonard led the 2010-11 San Diego State team that previously boasted the best start in program history at 20-0. These Aztecs completed a season sweep of the reigning Mountain West champion and preseason favorite Aggies.

Malachi Flynn and KJ Feagin joined Mitchell in double-figures scoring with 15 points apiece. Flynn also dished seven assists, grabbed six rebounds and made three steals.

Yanni Wetzell scored two of his 11 points on a thunderous dunk coming off one of his two steals. That sequence came with 13:06 remaining and gave San Diego State a three-point lead, and the Aztecs never trailed again.

Utah State forged a tie when Sam Merrill scored five of his team-high 16 points on consecutive possessions, but the Aggies never threatened again.

Brock Miller scored 15 points and Justin Bean added 13 points, but Utah State got just five bench points in the second half.

Utah State’s Neemias Queta scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots, but limped off in the final minute. Queta has missed 12 games this season due to two knee injuries.

—Field Level Media

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