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Story and photos by Liz Alper

December 2, 2017 (San Diego) - Following a big win at Jenny Craig Pavilion against USD on Thursday night, SDSU men’s basketball finally returned home for a Sunday matinee against the 7-1 Bradley Braves as part of the annual Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge.  In case you were wondering, Bradley is a private university in Peoria, Illinois with 5,400 students.  This is the first time the Aztecs have seen the Braves since 1967.

After a nice opening pass from freshman Matt Mitchell to senior Malik Pope for the tip-in, the Aztecs had an easy ride against a 7-1 team that wasn’t playing like a 7-1 team.  In fact, the Braves didn’t score their first two points until four minutes in when junior guard Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye laid it in.  Their last point for seven minutes was a free throw by senior guard Jojo McGlaston.  Junior forward Luuk Van Bree broke the draught with two straight buckets that got the Braves into double digits, but the Aztecs still led by more than 20.  And as usual for the Aztecs, the freshmen shone.  Today it was the redshirter Jalen McDaniels, who notched seven points within the first nine minutes of the first half.  Junior Jeremy Hemsley had just as many. Bradley stepped it up a little bit, but the Aztecs slammed on the gas towards the end of the half and went to the locker room up 37-23.

Things were back to normal in the second half; Bradley went back to missing 99% of their shots and the Aztecs were able to take advantage of their constant fouling.  Three Aztecs reached double digits in points; Hemsley, Pope and McDaniels.  And they did it all without senior Trey Kell.  McDaniels earned himself a double double with a career-high 14 points and 12 rebounds as the Aztecs took this one by a landslide, 75-52.

“I’m happy with our performance tonight,” head coach Brian Dutcher said after the game. “...I thought our kids competed at a really high level today.  They came out, worked hard on the glass...we shot a pretty good percentage, our defense was great...we defended well, we rebounded well and that usually leads to a good outcome.”  

The Aztecs stay home and will host Cal on Saturday.  Tipoff is at 2:00 p.m.


Postgame notes

Postgame quotes

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