San Diego State looked to have a repeat of the 14-pt come from behind win in Boise State when they went down by 16 to the Cowboys in Wyoming.
This game was a little different. The Aztecs looked very slow on defense and were just not getting back to the ball. They were getting sliced through and Wyoming was converting open look dunks back-to-back. Maybe the Aztecs were winded — being over 7,000 feet above sea level after being at the marker in San Diego. SDSU held a lead through the opening portion of the first half, but then fell apart. It looked as if they were playing lazy, assuming they were going to be right back in it. Before we knew it, the Aztecs saw themselves down 9 at halftime.
Wyoming also played terrific defense. They played this zone scheme which truly worked against the Aztecs. San Diego State’s true strength is on defense, and their offense looked easily tolerable with the way the Cowboys were playing defense. Perhaps the key to the game was Xavier Thames. SDSU has relied heavily on Thames this season, and he has delivered.
It was a little different in Wyoming. Thames was hitting his free throws early but was not finishing and could not shoot. Thames went into the half with zero converted field goals and finished the game 3/16 with 13 points. This was Thame’s lowest point total since SDSU routed upstart St. Katherine 118-35 when he scored 10 points and did not play the majority of the game. That was a span of 12 games in which Xavier averaged over 20 points.
SDSU managed to climb back into the game, getting within 4 points with less than a minute to go. Another heads up play by Wyoming put them back up by 6 almost immediately and pretty much secured the game. The Aztecs could just not seem to put a full run together without letting Wyoming continue to get on the score board.
Hopefully SDSU learns from this and comes to play for all their opponents. This is a late season game here in Mid-February, so I do not think we should be too down on this as fans. SDSU will probably drop out of the Top-5, but still should get a 2-3 seed in the tournament. They need to focus on the rest of the season as they still have two games verse New Mexico and have to play the MWC Tournament.