No. 18 San Diego St. 72, San Diego 56

Before his No. 18 San Diego State Aztecs beat crosstown rival
San Diego 72-56, coach Steve Fisher put the game in perspective for
his players.

For the second straight day, Fisher talked to his players about
the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

”We talked about the tragedy that occurred out in Connecticut.
We had talked about it yesterday in practice,” Fisher said. ”The
senseless act of violence, you just say as a parent, or as anybody,
that your heart goes out to not just the families that were
involved but everyone surrounding that terrible tragedy that
occurred. And I think all of us need to say a little prayer and
hope that we can get some form of legislation that will hopefully
help prevent some of these things that are going on.

”What we do is fun and games. The real world goes on around us.
I think our kids were very cognizant and reflected along that line,
also.”

Before the national anthem, a moment of silence was held for the
shooting victims.

Chase Tapley scored 15 points, including consecutive 3-pointers
during a decisive 12-0 run, and Jamaal Franklin had 14 to lead the
Aztecs (8-1), who won their eighth straight game since losing the
season-opener to No. 4 Syracuse. SDSU beat USD (6-6) for the
seventh straight time, the longest streak in the rivalry. Overall,
SDSU has won 10 of 11 against the Toreros.

DeShawn Stephens scored 11 points for SDSU, which had an
eight-day layoff for finals.

USD’s Ken Rancifer scored 16, while Chris Manresa and Chris
Anderson had 11 each. Johnny Dee, who came in leading the Toreros
with 15 points, was scoreless in the first half and finished with
nine.

”We won the game because we guarded like crazy,” Fisher said.
”We did a great job defensively. Everybody. In particular, I
thought Chase Tapley in the first half did not let Johnny Dee get
any clean looks. And he’s a guy who hurt us last year. He’s hurt
everybody they’ve played.”

The Toreros stayed with SDSU for the opening 10 minutes, using a
6-0 run to lead 18-16.

The Aztecs then scored the next 12 points to take their first
double-digit lead of the night at 28-18. JJ O’Brien and James Rahon
hit jumpers and Stephens made a layup before Tapley hit his
consecutive 3s.

USD closed the gap to 32-26 after Rancifer and Mike Davis made
consecutive 3-pointers.

SDSU scored the final seven points of the half to take a 39-26
lead at the break. Franklin made two free throws, O’Brien a layup
and Tapley was fouled while taking a 3-pointer and made all three
free throws.

”It’s always a tough competition with USD,” Tapley said. ”We
just love the rivalry and love the competition. We were anxious to
play. We hadn’t played a game in a long time. We wanted to come out
and compete and really jump on them from the start on defense. This
week we were really putting an emphasis on defense.”

USD coach Bill Grier said SDSU’s height was too much.

”Their length is going to bother a lot of people. I thought
Tapley did a really good job of not giving Johnny any space. They
force you to rush shots because of their length.”

SDSU’s biggest lead was 59-37 with 9:29 to play.