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,


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


”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.