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(13) San Diego State (24-3) at Fresno State (15-14)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 10:05 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Save Mart Center (15,596) -- Fresno, California. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: SDSU 14-1, FSU 11-4. Away Record: SDSU 7-2, FSU 4-9. Neutral Record: SDSU 3-0, FSU 0-1. Conference Record: SDSU 13-2, FSU 8-8. Series Record: San Diego State leads, 57-45.

GAME NOTES: With three games remaining in the regular season, the 13th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs try to at least stay in a tie for first place in the Mountain West Conference standings as they tangle with the Fresno State Bulldogs at the Save Mart Center on Saturday night.

For the majority of the season the Aztecs were the team to beat in the MWC, at one point winning 20 straight decisions, but the squad now finds itself tied with New Mexico atop the MWC standings at 13-2. Three nights ago, San Diego State bounced back from a dismal 58-44 loss to New Mexico last weekend by delivering a huge 90-64 beat down of San Jose State at home. The victory was the third in the last four games for a program that still has a bright outlook in March and possibly beyond.

As for the Bulldogs, they have split their first 16 league decisions and are currently seventh in the conference standings, but a few nights back they managed to do what no other MWC team had been able to do in 2013-14. Fresno State lit up Boise State at home in a lopsided 76-56 decision, the first MWC program to score a 20-point win versus the Broncos this season. The win was the second in a row and the seventh in eight games for the group.

In terms of the all-time series, San Diego State is ahead by a count of 57-45, with the majority of those victories coming in southern California. The Aztecs, then ranked 10th in the nation, won the first meeting of the season at home in the middle of January by a score of 68-60.

Against the weakest team in the MWC, the Aztecs ripped through San Jose State without much effort earlier this week, holding the visitors to just 37.7 percent shooting from the floor and a total of 20 field goals, against 22 turnovers. At the offensive end of the floor, once the outcome was never in doubt, SDSU spread the wealth and cleared the bench, allowing reserves Dwayne Polee II and Matt Shrigley to tally 12 and 11 points, respectively. Starters Winston Shepard and JJ O'Brien chimed in with 12 points apiece, but only Xavier Thames (eight points, five assists) played more than 21 minutes for the program.

From an offensive standpoint, Thames directs the traffic on the floor for the Aztecs and as a result is being considered for player of the year honors in the MWC. He is averaging a solid 16.4 ppg and has delivered 78 assists, many of which have gone to Shepard who is the only other double-digit scorer at the moment with his 1.2 4 ppg. But more important than the offense for the Aztecs is their suffocating defense, which limits opponents to just 38.0 percent shooting from the floor, 29.0 percent behind the 3-point line, and meager 56.9 ppg, which is one of the best marks in the country.

The Bulldogs can best be described as an enigmatic bunch this season, but at least the team is moving in a positive direction at the right time of the season. Three nights ago, FSU not only pulled off a win against Boise State, it did so in grand style by limiting the visitors to only 38.0 percent shooting from the floor overall and a dismal 2-of-18 showing behind the 3- point line in the 20-point blowout. Marvelle Harris was nearly perfect at the offensive end for the Bulldogs as he converted 9-of-11 from the floor, 4-of-4 behind the 3-point line, en route to a game-high 26. Tyler Johnson pitched in with 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists, followed by Allen Huddleston with 12 points off the bench.

A starter in all 25 games in which he has appeared this season, Johnson paces the Bulldogs with his 16.5 ppg, not to mention pulling down 7.5 rpg. A dual threat on the inside and out on the perimeter, Johnson can not only hit the glass with authority, he is also one of the better 3-point shooters at 44.6 percent and is second on the unit with 77 assists. Harris (15.1 ppg) and Cezar Guerrero (13.4 ppg) help to carry the load on offense, the latter also responsible for 112 assists.

As great as Fresno State has been playing of late, these last few games of the regular season are crucial for the Aztecs, not just for their spot in the standings, but also to build their confidence as the postseason rolls around.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 74, Fresno State 66

03/01 10:56:07 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 100
ORL 105
 
1st
DUKE 13
TEMPL 6
 
Final
CHA 100
ORL 105
 
Final
PHI 96
PHO 122
 
Final
ATL 99
DET 89
 
4th
TOR 124
MIL 81
 
4th
MEM 90
BOS 78
 
4th
OKC 77
BRK 76
 
4th
WAS 80
CLE 67
 
4th
MIN 68
SAN 93
 
Half
DAL 68
LAL 59
 
2nd
DEN 48
NOP 34
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
UTA
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
3rd
RICE 10
UTEP 3
 
1st
SDST 7
AFA 0
 
1st
UTST 7
SJST 0
 
Final
COC 50
TEXAM 59
Final
DREX 70
USC 72
Final
GWEBB 72
CLEM 70
Final
MIAMI 79
AKR 51
Final
UCONN 75
DAY 64
Final
NEV 60
SHU 68
Final
LONG 81
UNCG 79
Final
ARKPB 46
VALPO 59
 
Final
WVU 70
BC 66
Final
TOWS 58
CCST 49
 
Final
YALE 70
ILLCH 58
 
Final
IOWA 63
SYR 66
 
Final
HAMP 82
ALCOR 69
 
Final
ODU 70
LSU 61
 
Final
KENT 89
BU 65
 
Final
SCAR 63
CHAR 65
 
Final
UVA 59
GWU 42
 
Final
WCU 72
HIWASSEE 53
 
Final
GT 78
MAST 69
 
Final
RIDE 78
LEH 74
 
Final
MSU 87
LOYC 52
 
Final
CMICH 76
MAINE 48
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
MNTST 0
 
Final
BAY 60
PVU 45
 
Final
HOF 66
USB 65
 
Final
OREG 78
TOL 68
 
Final
UGA 82
TROY 60
 
Final
STAN 89
UNLV 60
 
Final
FAIR 36
WOFF 54
 
Final
EMICH 71
YOUNG 62
 
Final
MON 73
COOK 50
 
Final
FIU 74
FLMEM 48
 
Final
KSU 74
SILL 51
 
Final
CAL 55
TEX 71
 
2nd
GMAS 56
NMU 65
 
Final
ILL 107
PEAY 66
 
2nd
ARK 94
DELST 64
 
Final
MCNST 85
JCHR 70
 
2nd
NDST 62
KNST 55
 
2nd
OKST 79
UWMIL 66
 
2nd
LATU 66
MORE 54
 
2nd
SDKST 62
NDAK 64
 
2nd
XAV 75
STEPH 61
 
2nd
UF 49
LAMON 43
 
2nd
WAKE 46
IONA 57
 
Half
GRCN 34
FAM 22
 
Half
COLST 29
UGST 34
 
Half
WASU 32
IDST 31
 
1st
WEBER 25
ILLST 38
 
1st
AUB 40
LALAF 32
 
1st
LOU 31
MARS 23
 
1st
ORST 18
ORU 20
 
1st
SD 25
SHSU 23
 
1st
UTAH 47
UCR 21
 
1st
DUKE 13
TEMPL 6
 
1st
CORN 12
PSU 6
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
DEL
10:00pm Tonight
AMER
PBY
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
WASH
 
10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
KYST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
PITT
Final
CLB 3
BOS 4
 
Final
PIT 4
NYI 5
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
NYR 0
 
1st
EDM 0
NJD 0