SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL: AZTECS HANG ON TO DEFEAT SECOND-SEED BRONCOS 72-64

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Story by Liz Alper

Photos by Cris Rangel

February 28, 2018 (San Diego) - San Diego State men’s basketball is back home for the last two games of the season, starting tonight against Boise State.  The Broncos are at the top of their game right now, standing at second in the Mountain West.

Even senior Malik Pope’s and redshirt freshman Jalen McDaniels’ two-man show to open the game couldn’t stop the lethal three-point attack by the Broncos, led by Justinian Jessup and Marcus Dickinson.  The sophomores deftly erased the Aztecs’ early lead with five threes, three from Jessup and two from Dickinson.  The almost impossible looks the Aztecs were getting disappeared, but they came back with a vengeance at the end of the half after two quick turnovers led to buckets to get the Aztecs down by three.  Senior Chandler Hutchison hit a jumper, but a monster dunk by McDaniels suddenly brought the Aztecs to within one.  Sophomore Casdon Jardine made two free throws, but Pope hit a jumper to bring the Aztecs to within one again.  McDaniels’ two free throws gave SDSU the lead at halftime, but it was only by one point:  38-37.

Both teams traded one point leads to start the second half, neither of them wanting to break free. The Aztecs finally did after junior Jeremy Hemsley made a deflection and scored a layup and-one on a fantastic breakaway.  Neither team scored much, but the Aztecs didn’t have to; despite foul trouble, they fought for a good win.  Boise State tried to mount a comeback and got close to within five, but for some reason never tried to intentionally foul until less than a minute left and the Aztecs came away with the 72-64 win.  McDaniels led the way with 15 points.

For the last game of the season, the Aztecs will host Nevada.  Tipoff is Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.

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