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The Aztecs played an exhibition game against the UCSD Tritons on Monday night at Viejas arena. Unlike their previous game against CSUSM, The Aztecs jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The game was never close and the Aztecs cruised to an 80-56 victory. Coach Fisher played his bench extensively in the second half. This was their last game before they face #9 Syracuse on Friday in ‘Battle on the Midway.'

Game Notes:

While the game was technically sold out, I would rate Viejas Arena as two-thirds full. The student section was full and once again deafening. There were very few, if any, UCSD fans at the game.

Effective 3 point shooting could be a problem for the Aztecs this season. The Tritons very rarely were able to get any penetration against a much taller Aztec defense, but still managed to score 56 points. They shot 36.4% from three point range, almost half of their points coming on three balls. The Aztecs zone defense seemed slightly more packed into the key than usual. Maybe this was just a strategy against a small UCSD team, but if it continues better perimeter shooting teams could give the Aztecs trouble.

Chase Tapley’s shooting ability can take over games. With the majority of the defenses focus being on Jamaal Franklin, Tapley is often open on the outside. Whether he shoots the three or steps in for a mid range jumper, he can be a deadly shooter. The addition of Winston Shepard and emergence of DeShawn Stevens only help spread the floor for Tapley.

The Aztecs offense faced a decent 2-3 zone defense, similar to what they will face Friday against Syracuse. The main difference is that the Syracuse guards are all 4-6 inches taller than what they Aztecs saw on Monday. The Aztecs will have to rely on outside shooting a bit more, something they have struggled with so far this year (below 30% both exhibition games).

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