Malachi Flynn scored 16 points and dished out eight assists to lead No. 20 San Diego State to an 80-52 victory over Utah on Saturday in the Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Yanni Wetzell and Nathan Mensah added 14 points apiece for the Aztecs. San Diego State won its 12th straight game to open the season after shooting 49 percent from the field and outscoring Utah 42-10 in the paint.
Timmy Allen scored 21 points and collected six rebounds to lead the Utes. Utah trailed from start to finish while shooting 32 percent from the field and committing 17 turnovers.
The Aztecs wasted no time imposing their will on both ends of the court during the first half. They outscored the Utes 18-2 in the paint before halftime. On the other end, San Diego State forced 11 turnovers and held Utah to 23-percent shooting from the floor.
Flynn and Wetzell each scored five points on back-to-back baskets while San Diego State raced out to a 15-2 lead. The Aztecs made six of their first eight shots. Utah, on the other hand, missed five straight shots to open the game and committed four turnovers in the first six minutes.
Allen drained a 3-pointer and hit a pair of free throws to help the Utes trim the deficit to 18-10. Utah went ice cold on offense before it could make the game any closer. The Utes endured an eight-minute stretch before halftime where they missed eight consecutive shots and committed five turnovers.
It opened the door for San Diego State to salt the game away early, but the Aztecs failed to do so as they endured their own offensive slump as the half wound down. They missed 10 of their final 12 shots of the half after going up 25-13 on Nathan Mensah’s three-point play with 8:02 remaining before halftime.
Utah closed to within 33-25 after hitting back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second half. San Diego State finally put the Utes away behind a 19-7 run that gave the Aztecs a 52-32 lead midway through the second half. Flynn and Jordan Schakel each made 3-pointers to help fuel the run.
—Field Level Media