No. 17 San Diego St. 84, UC Santa Barbara 70
Nearly a month later, No. 17 San Diego State has made its fans
forget that awful shooting performance against Syracuse in the
season opener on the flight deck of the USS Midway.
Chase Tapley went 6 of 8 from 3-point range and scored 23 points
to lead five players in double figures and the Aztecs beat future
conference rival UC Santa Barbara 84-70 on Thursday night, their
seventh straight win.
Jamaal Franklin added 14 points, JJ O’Brien 12, Xavier Thames 11
and James Rahon 10 for the Aztecs (7-1), who join the Big West next
season. It was their eighth straight victory over the Gauchos
The Aztecs shot 60.7 percent, including making 6 of 8
3-pointers, in running to a 46-29 halftime lead, and a season-high
55.8 percent (29 of 52) overall.
”We all know we can all shoot. Everybody’s seen us shoot. That
first game, the Syracuse game on the boat, really made us look like
we couldn’t shoot,” Tapley said.
”It messed us up,” O’Brien said.
The Aztecs have bounced back nicely since Nov. 11, when the
taller Orange, who are now ranked No. 4, and a brisk wind led to
the Aztecs shooting just 27 percent.
”I thought next year we ought to try to move it to the aircraft
carrier and it might be a better result for us,” UCSB coach Bob
Williams said. ”Maybe if they play in the wind they wouldn’t shoot
the ball quite like that. Six out of eight in the first half is
pretty impressive. I’m not sure we’d make six out of eight if you
weren’t guarding us.”
The Aztecs made 11 of 17 3-pointers, a season-high 64.7
”We shot the ball about as well as I’ve seen a San Diego State
team since I’ve been here shoot it in the first half,” said coach
Steve Fisher, who’s in his 14th season with the Aztecs. ”And it’s
contagious. Chase has been shooting the ball so well in practice
that every time he shoots it you think it’s going in.
”We did a nice job against the defense that they played, and it
can be confusing: `Are they zone? Are they man? What are they doing
for sure?’ `’ Fisher said. ”I thought we did a good job of spacing
the floor and finding ways to get guys pretty clean looks and were
effective with it.”
The Aztecs weren’t as effective in the second half, when they
were outscored 41-38 by the Gauchos.
UCSB’s Kyle Boswell made 7 of 10 3-pointers for a career-high 23
points. Alan Williams had 18 and Taran Brown 16 before they both
fouled out late in the game.
The Gauchos’ only lead was 5-4 after Brown made a 3-pointer 2
1/2 minutes in.
San Diego State then took control with a 14-0 run. O’Brien
scored six points and Tapley and Thames both hit a 3-pointer.
San Diego State led 46-29 at halftime. Tapley, Thames and Rahon
all made two 3-pointers in the first half.
Early in the second half, the Aztecs made 3-pointers on
consecutive possessions, the first by Thames and then two by
Tapley. Tapley was fouled taking another 3-pointer and made all
three free throws for a 64-37 lead with 15:10 to play.
”They are a team that you have to keep them from penetrating,”
Boswell said. ”At the same time, they can shoot the ball extremely
well. They have a bunch of weapons you have to respect. If you’re
going to give up one thing they are going to exploit you in another
The Aztecs have won 27 straight games against teams from