SAN DIEGO (CBS / AP) — Winston Shepard, Dwayne Polee II and JJ O’Brien each scored 12 points to lead a balanced offense as No. 13 San Diego State breezed past San Jose State 90-64 on Tuesday night.
Coming off their third loss of the season, the Aztecs (24-3, 13-2 Mountain West) had an easy time against the overmatched Spartans (7-20, 1-14).
The Aztecs had dropped seven spots in the poll after losing their second game in two weeks, a 58-44 thumping at New Mexico on Saturday. But the Aztecs didn’t lose two-in-a-row while preventing San Jose State from winning consecutive outings.
San Jose State, which won its first conference game in school history last week at Nevada, was paced by Rashad Muhammad and Jaleel Williams, with 14 points apiece.
With the win the Aztecs kept pace with New Mexico to remain tied for first place. The two teams face each other on March 8.
The Aztecs put the game away with a 19-1 run starting with 15 minutes left in the second half. The Spartans committed seven fouls over that stretch and San Diego State’s defense continued to cause problems.
San Jose State tied a season-high with 22 turnovers as the Aztecs held the Spartans without a point over 7 minutes. The Spartans went more than eight minutes between field goals as the Aztecs defeated a California team for the 40th straight time.
The Aztecs held a 44-30 halftime lead, thanks in part to a pesky defense which had 11 steals.
The Spartans hung around early, thanks to the long ball. They hit six 3-point baskets in the first half, with four in the opening seven minutes.
But after trailing by just one with 12 minutes left in the half, the Aztecs’ defense tightened and the Spartans quickly gave ground.
SDSU stretched its lead to 31-21 on Shepard’s finger roll at the 7:25 mark and was ahead by 14 heading into the second half.
The 44 points were the most by the Aztecs in any half since they scored 46 in beating the Spartans earlier this season. Their 90 points were the most against a Division I opponent this year.
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