SDSU MEN'S BASKETBALL: TOP 25 APPROVED; AZTECS DOWN ASU BY 12

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Source:  goaztecs.com

Photo courtesy goaztecs.com

December 10, 2020 (Tempe) - Jordan Schakel scored 25 points, Nathan Mensah had 17 points and 15 rebounds, and No. 24 San Diego State dominated inside to beat No. 23 Arizona State 80-68 Thursday night.

The Sun Devils (3-2) got volume-scoring guard Alonzo Verge Jr. back after he missed two games during to COVID-19 contact tracing but were without forward Marcus Bagley due to a lower left leg injury suffered Saturday against Cal.

 
San Diego State (5-0) already had a size advantage inside, and Bagley's absence turned it into an even bigger strength.
 
The Aztecs outscored Arizona State 36-8 in the paint and scored 17 second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds. San Diego State pulled away with an 18-2 run in the second half to stretch the nation's longest road winning streak to 13 straight games.
 
The Sun Devils were pushed to the perimeter most of the night by the bigger Aztecs and, despite a couple of nice runs, didn't make enough outside shots. Arizona State shot 34% and missed 11 straight shots during a key stretch in the second half.
 
Verge led the Sun Devils with 25 points.
 
The Aztecs were without three players due to contact tracing, though only Keshad Johnson was expected to be part of the rotation.
 
Bagley's loss was a bigger one for the Sun Devils, leaving them without their top rebounder.
 
San Diego State took advantage, scoring 12 points off six offensive rebounds midway through the first half. The 6-10 Mensah had his way inside with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half to give the Aztecs a 35-33 lead.
 
Arizona State missed 11 of its first 15 shots before finding a better offensive rhythm and cleaned up the defensive glass better to rally from an early 12-point deficit.
 
The Sun Devils struggled against San Diego State's defensive pressure early in the second half and began turning the ball over, leading to a series of transition baskets during a 13-0 Aztecs run.
 
Arizona State had a stretch of eight minutes without a field goal as San Diego State stretched the lead to 59-45.
 
BIG PICTURE
 
San Diego State won its 17th straight nonconference game behind a big night by Schakel and a dominant performance inside.
 
UP NEXT
 
San Diego State hosts Brighsam Young on Dec. 18.