Garrett Harris 9:48 p.m., May 23
SDSU hangs on for win against Fresno St
The Aztecs went into Fresno St and pulled out a 65-62 victory.
The Aztecs hung on in Fresno, winning 65-62, to start conference play in the Mountain West. While SDSU won, it was a lot closer than it was expected to be. Considering the Bulldogs had a 6-7 record coming into the contest and the Aztecs only two losses were against top 10 teams, the Aztecs hoped to have the game put away by half time. SDSU led by 9 at the half, but Fresno kept fighting and eventually had a 1 point lead with under three minutes to go. The Aztecs fought back, making the majority of their free throws down the stretch and came out with an important conference win. This was the Aztecs 32nd consecutive win against teams from California.
Jamaal Franklin had an impressive showing in Fresno. Franklin led the team with 20 points and 18 rebounds, shooting 4-6 from beyond the arc. He also cemented his name in conversation for ‘dunk of the year’ with a monstrous jam. Franklin pulled down a defensive board, ran down the court and at the three point line tossed himself a pass off the backboard for an alley-oop dunk. The dunk silenced the crowd and earned him the #1 spot on Sportscenter top ten plays. The dunk went viral online with over 1,000,000 views across multiple videos. The best video of the dunk can be found here.
With Thames out, Rahon and Shepard stepped up. Xavier Thames was out with a back/shoulder injury and Shepard started in his place. While Shepard only scored 4 points, he added 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks. He played a great game and made a lot of brilliant passes. James Rahon also made the most out of his extra minutes. Rahon scored 16 points, shooting 50% from behind the three point line. There is an alarming trend surfacing that the Aztecs don’t play their best ball without Thames. He was out last year with an injury and SDSU struggled mightily without him. The Aztecs cannot afford to struggle and drop games as the Mountain West is very competitive and loaded with quality teams.