No. 25 San Diego St. 79, Ark.-Pine Bluff 43
SAN DIEGO (AP)
No. 25 San Diego State still isn't shooting lights-out.
Then again, compared to Arkansas-Pine Bluff's miserable night, it didn't matter.
Freshman Skylar Spencer had 12 points while senior forward DeShawn Stephens had his first double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Aztecs (3-1), whose schedule gets tougher. They play at Southern California on Sunday night and then face No. 11 UCLA for the first time since 1991, in the Wooden Classic at Anaheim on Dec. 1.
''It's a good way to head into Thanksgiving. They'll get harder from here. We know that,'' SDSU coach Steve Fisher said. ''We have to continue to get better. We have a lot of room to grow.''
San Diego State led 36-14 at halftime. It was the fewest points the Aztecs allowed in the opening 20 minutes since holding Wyoming to 13 on Jan. 19, 2008.
The Golden Lions was only 6 of 26 (23.1 percent) in the first half and 18 of 54 (33.3 percent) overall.
San Diego State had an off-night, too, shooting 13 of 36 (36.1 percent) in the first half and 27 of 65 (41.5 percent) overall.
This was the fourth of 11 straight away games for the Golden Lions (1-3) to start the season. They don't play a home game until January, when they start conference play.
Davon Haynes had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Lions and Mitchell Anderson had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Both teams were cold early and the game was tied 6-6 not quite eight minutes in.
San Diego State began pulling away behind 3-point shots from Tapley and Franklin and an inside shot by transfer Dwayne Polee. Xavier Thames extended the run to 9-0 with a free throw that made it 15-6.
''Good teams make those kind of adjustments to the defense we were playing,'' Golden Lions coach George Ivory said about the Aztecs, who made only 3 of their first 17 shots before getting warmer. ''Tapley shot it very well. I thought he shot it exceptionally well. It makes a big difference.''
As for the difference between the first half and second half, ''We played too much perimeter in the first half,'' Ivory said. ''Throwing up shots instead of cutting to the basket. We did a better job of getting the ball down low to Haynes.''
After the Golden Lions pulled to 15-10, San Diego State went on a 16-0 run that put it away at 31-12.
Tapley had two 3-poiners, LaBradford Franklin had another and Stephens had an alley-oop slam off a pass from Franklin.
Tapley ''started making a couple,'' Fisher said. ''And so often, when one guy makes one, then the next guy can make one. We had a stretch where we made four, five, six in a row, and it was keyed by Chase. That's a veteran guy making plays to help you win.''
His first double-double ''feels good,'' Stephens said. ''Finally, after so many games getting nine rebounds, eight rebounds. I should be doing it all the time. I've just got to keep working hard.''
The game marked the end of a three-game NCAA suspension for SDSU freshman Winston Shepard for violating preferential treatment legislation.