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McDaniels scores 24, Watson 21 in SDSU's 97-77 win vs Lobos

SAN DIEGO (AP) San Diego State made New Mexico pay for playing zone defense the whole game.

Once again needing a pick-me-up after a tough loss, the Aztecs got it by beating the Lobos 97-77 on Tuesday night.

Jalen McDaniels had 24 points and 11 rebounds while freshman Aguek Arop made a 65-foot shot at the halftime buzzer and Devin Watson made three 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the second half.

Watson finished with 21 points, freshman Nathan Mensah had 16 and Arop and Jordan Schakel 10 each for SDSU (10-7, 2-2 Mountain West).

SDSU's 30 assists were its most in a MWC game, and the 97 points tied for the school's most in a regulation MWC game. Jeremy Hemsley and Matt Mitchell had nine assists apiece.

''Our zone offense is so much better than our man offense,'' coach Brian Dutcher said. ''I told the team that we might not see zone the rest of the year the way you guys played against zone. ... We played the right way. The task is, over the next six days before we play again, can we get our man offense to look anything like that.

''The thing about zone offense is I don't call the players' numbers on offense,'' Dutcher added. ''We just put in the high post-low post and we move the ball. And then once I start calling plays for players, the thing is, can we now run that play and share the ball the same way and create shots for each other like we do? We've done that at times, but obviously we haven't done it enough.''

McDaniels got the ball plenty against the Lobos' 1-3-1 zone and made 10 of 19 shots.

''They did a good job of getting it inside to him and he was good tonight,'' Lobos coach Paul Weir said.

Anthony Mathis scored 21, Vance Jackson 16 and Carlton Bragg 12 for New Mexico (8-9, 2-3).

The game's highlight came when Arop stole the ball, took a few steps and launched his three-quarters-court shot, which swished at the buzzer to give the Aztecs a 44-39 halftime lead.

''That shot he hit from three-quarters court was incredible,'' Dutcher said. ''That was fun to see. That's a memory he'll take with him forever, and I'll remember it.''

Said Weir: ''The last play of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half was really the difference in the game. For 19 1/2 minutes we did OK. We weren't perfect but we controlled the ball and they weren't making 3s.''

Arop's long shot and Watson's 3-point barrage in the opening minutes of the second half gave the Aztecs some breathing room. Watson's third 3-pointer gave SDSU a 53-41 lead.

Arop scored 10 points in the first half and Mensah had 12. Mensah scored 10 of the Aztecs' first 17 points in the first five minutes and had 12 of their first 25.

The two freshmen combined to go 10 for 10 in the first half.

SDSU had a 19-8 lead behind Mensah's opening salvo but New Mexico clawed its way back and trailed just 23-22 after the third 3-pointer in 2 1/2 minutes by Mathis. Mathis had four 3-pointers in scoring 13 points in the first half.

BIG PICTURE

New Mexico: The Lobos have lost three straight since opening MWC play with an 85-58 upset of then-No. 5 Nevada at home on Jan. 5. They followed that up by losing at home against UNLV, at Colorado State and then at SDSU.

San Diego State: The Aztecs were coming off a 62-48 loss at Air Force in which they cut a 16-point deficit to four points, but couldn't finish the comeback.

UP NEXT

New Mexico hosts Wyoming on Saturday.

San Diego State is at Fresno State next Tuesday night. Justin Hutson, a former longtime SDSU assistant, is in his first season as the Bulldogs' coach.

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Key Players
V. Jackson
D. Watson
34.0 Min. Per Game 34.0
15.3 Pts. Per Game 15.3
5.3 Ast. Per Game 5.3
2.8 Reb. Per Game 2.8
44.0 Field Goal % 42.9
38.1 Three Point % 40.0
58.3 Free Throw % 76.1
  Offensive rebound by Aguek Arop 22.0
  Ed Chang missed 3-pt. jump shot 24.0
+ 1 Drue Drinnon made 2nd of 2 free throws 37.0
+ 1 Drue Drinnon made 1st of 2 free throws 37.0
  Shooting foul on Nathan Mensah 37.0
+ 3 Ed Chang made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Aguek Arop 52.0
+ 3 Keith McGee made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tavian Percy 1:10
  Turnover on Aguek Arop 1:30
  Offensive foul on Aguek Arop 1:30
+ 1 Vance Jackson made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:34
+ 1 Vance Jackson made 1st of 2 free throws 1:34
Team Stats
Points 77 97
Field Goals 24-56 (42.9%) 38-69 (55.1%)
3-Pointers 13-32 (40.6%) 10-23 (43.5%)
Free Throws 16-19 (84.2%) 11-12 (91.7%)
Total Rebounds 25 38
Offensive 8 13
Defensive 15 22
Team 2 3
Assists 17 30
Steals 7 6
Blocks 2 2
Turnovers 17 13
Fouls 18 19
Technicals 0 1
24 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST
12T
away team logo New Mexico 8-9 393877
home team logo San Diego State 10-7 445397
Team Stats
away team logo New Mexico 8-9 76.7 PPG 39.1 RPG 13.8 APG
home team logo San Diego State 10-7 74.6 PPG 38 RPG 15.2 APG
Key Players
32
A. Mathis G 15.4 PPG 2.3 RPG 2.1 APG 44.4 FG%
5
J. McDaniels F 17.1 PPG 8.6 RPG 2.4 APG 49.8 FG%
Top Scorers
A. Mathis G 21 PTS 0 REB 0 AST
J. McDaniels F 24 PTS 11 REB 4 AST
42.9 FG% 55.1
40.6 3PT FG% 43.5
84.2 FT% 91.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Mathis 21 0 0 6/11 6/10 3/4 2 33 1 0 2 0 0
V. Jackson 16 6 2 6/14 2/8 2/2 1 28 1 0 3 3 3
C. Bragg 12 4 2 4/8 0/0 4/4 3 17 0 2 2 1 3
D. Kuiper 11 3 2 4/5 3/4 0/0 4 24 0 0 0 1 2
M. Maluach 0 2 5 0/8 0/6 0/0 2 30 1 0 2 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Mathis 21 0 0 6/11 6/10 3/4 2 33 1 0 2 0 0
V. Jackson 16 6 2 6/14 2/8 2/2 1 28 1 0 3 3 3
C. Bragg 12 4 2 4/8 0/0 4/4 3 17 0 2 2 1 3
D. Kuiper 11 3 2 4/5 3/4 0/0 4 24 0 0 0 1 2
M. Maluach 0 2 5 0/8 0/6 0/0 2 30 1 0 2 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. McGee 8 2 3 2/5 2/3 2/2 0 20 0 0 3 1 1
C. Manigault 4 2 0 1/2 0/0 2/2 2 9 0 0 1 1 1
D. Drinnon 4 4 2 1/3 0/1 2/2 2 19 1 0 2 1 3
V. Pinchuk 1 0 0 0/0 0/0 1/3 1 14 1 0 1 0 0
K. Ezzeddine 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 3 2 0 1 0 0
J. Arroyo 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
T. Percy 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
J. Lyle - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Martin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Patterson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 77 23 17 24/56 13/32 16/19 18 200 7 2 17 8 15
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. McDaniels 24 11 4 10/19 0/0 4/4 2 30 0 1 1 5 6
D. Watson 21 5 2 7/13 5/7 2/2 1 30 1 0 1 0 5
N. Mensah 16 7 0 7/7 0/0 2/2 4 26 0 1 0 4 3
M. Mitchell 5 5 9 2/6 1/4 0/0 3 30 0 0 3 0 5
J. Hemsley 4 2 9 1/6 0/2 2/2 3 30 2 0 3 1 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. McDaniels 24 11 4 10/19 0/0 4/4 2 30 0 1 1 5 6
D. Watson 21 5 2 7/13 5/7 2/2 1 30 1 0 1 0 5
N. Mensah 16 7 0 7/7 0/0 2/2 4 26 0 1 0 4 3
M. Mitchell 5 5 9 2/6 1/4 0/0 3 30 0 0 3 0 5
J. Hemsley 4 2 9 1/6 0/2 2/2 3 30 2 0 3 1 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Schakel 10 0 1 4/7 2/4 0/0 2 15 1 0 0 0 0
A. Arop 10 4 2 4/4 1/1 1/2 1 13 1 0 2 3 1
N. Narain 4 0 1 2/3 0/1 0/0 2 14 1 0 2 0 0
E. Chang 3 0 0 1/2 1/2 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
A. Seiko 0 1 2 0/2 0/2 0/0 1 8 0 0 1 0 1
M. Sohikish 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
M. Flynn - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Mensah - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Giordano - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 97 35 30 38/69 10/23 11/12 19 200 6 2 13 13 22