San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum
meet in southern California on Monday night, as the Tigers of Texas Southern
come calling on the San Diego State Aztecs.
Texas Southern has just one win to its credit, that coming in a 74-71 verdict
at home against Louisiana on Nov. 16, and the team has lost six games, only
two of which have been by single digits. One of those setbacks came last
Thursday in an 85-80 double-overtime affair at No. 19 Colorado. TSU will open
Southwestern Athletic Conference action on Jan. 2, 2013 at Southern.
San Diego State opened the 2012-13 campaign with a 62-49 loss to Syracuse, but
has reeled off five straight victories since, including a 78-69 decision
versus UCLA in Anaheim this past Saturday. The Aztecs have claimed victory in
their last 18 games in the month of December, which is the third-longest
active streak in the nation behind only Syracuse (24) and Missouri (21), and
if they post a winning record this month, it would mark the 22nd straight for
the club. SDSU opens Mountain West Conference play on Jan. 9, 2013 at Fresno
San Diego State won the only previous matchup between these two teams, taking
a 79-64 decision in Austin, Texas on Dec. 6, 1991.
Omar Strong drained nine three-pointers on his way to 39 points, but that
effort went for naught as Texas Southern fell at Colorado in double-overtime
by a scant five points. Fred Sturdivant logged a double-double consisting of
12 points and 11 rebounds, and he added five blocks, but the Tigers shot just
38.4 percent from the floor while suffering a crippling 33-12 deficit in
points from the foul line. TSU held a double-digit lead early in the second
half, but the team made good on only 21.4 percent of its field goal attempts
in the frame to allow the Buffaloes to mount their comeback. Strong's effort
was out of character for a guy who averaged just 8.8 ppg heading into the
contest, and Raymond Penn (15.3 ppg), the only current player for Texas
Southern to average double digits in the scoring column, had only five points
as he missed seven of his nine field goal attempts. TSU's outburst against CU
was its best of the season, and it was only the second time in which the team
exceeded 70 points.
San Diego State's recent win over UCLA, its first over the Bruins since 1940,
coupled with their victory over USC six days earlier, means it has won its
last 11 games against teams that currently call the Pac-12 Conference home.
The Aztecs got 28 points from Jamaal Franklin, 19 from Xavier Thames (five
treys) and 12 from Deshawn Stephens, as they shot an even 50 percent from the
field, draining 11-of-27 three-point tries along the way. UCLA managed just
42.2 percent shooting despite making good on 40 percent of its long-range
attempts, and SDSU scored eight more points in the paint than did the Bruins
while also logging a 13-7 edge in points from the foul line. Franklin (20.2
ppg, 10.0 rpg) has scored in double figures in 27 consecutive games, and is
the only player in the country averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per tilt.
Thames (10.3 ppg) and Chase Tapley (11.2 ppg) round out the double-digit
scorers for a team that is averaging 70.5 ppg behind typical shooting outputs
of .404 overall and .297 from beyond the arc. Fortunately, opponents are
hitting just 36.0 percent of their total shots, which includes a dismal 26.5
percent effort on their three-point launches. Goading foes into nearly 16
turnovers per outing has certainly helped SDSU's cause.
The Sports Network