EditorsNote: Updated next opponents
Jalen McDaniels put on a show with a career-high 26-point performance as San Diego State overcame a 19-point deficit in the first half to record a 79-74 victory over Xavier in the second round of the Maui Invitational in Hawaii on Tuesday.
San Diego State (3-1) will next face Iowa State, which defeated Illinois 84-68 in a later game Tuesday. Xavier (2-3) will face Illinois in the consolation bracket on Wednesday.
McDaniels helped San Diego State rebound from its 26-point beating by top-ranked Duke the day before by scoring eight straight points near the end of the first half to help the Aztecs inch within striking distance. He then scored 10 more after halftime, including a 3-pointer that rolled around the rim and gave San Diego State a 69-63 lead with 74 seconds left.
Senior Devin Watson added 21 and seven assists as San Diego State outscored Xavier 42-34 in the second half and 66-42 after trailing 32-13. Sophomore Jordan Schakel contributed 13 points as the Aztecs shot 51 percent.
Quentin Goodin scored 20 points as Xavier dropped its third straight. Zach Hankins added 15 off the bench but Paul Scruggs was held to 11 as the Musketeers shot a respectable 46.7 percent but faltered badly from 3-point line, shooting 32 percent (8 of 25).
Xavier started out by making five of its first eight 3-point attempts but missed 12 straight, including the first nine of the second half.
Xavier held a 32-13 lead after Kyle Castlin hit a 3-pointer with 9:23 remaining. But the Musketeers were outscored 24-8 the rest of the half and settled for a three-point lead at halftime. McDaniels scored eight straight San Diego State points before Schakel’s 3-pointer with 44 seconds left cut the lead to the three.
San Diego State had a chance to tie the score before the half after McDaniels blocked a 3-pointer by Scruggs and Xavier committed a turnover. But Watson missed a 3-point try with two seconds remaining.
With McDaniels being attended to on the sideline due to some apparent cramping, the Aztecs took their first lead at 50-47 on a 3-pointer by Watson with 13:12 remaining. San Diego State pushed the lead to 64-55 on two free throws by Watson with 4:31 remaining but Goodin’s 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run with about three minutes left before the Aztecs did enough to finish it off.
—Field Level Media