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NCAA Basketball San Diego State

San Diego State Aztecs’ Defense Wins Another Game in Mountain West Play

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The main story for San Diego State Aztecs coming into tonight’s matchup against the Colorado State Rams is not having Josh Davis in the starting lineup. Davis, who is second in the Mountain West Conference in rebounds per game with 11.6, sat out Saturday due to a knee injury, forcing the Aztecs to start with the smaller Aqeel Quinn. By switching to the smaller defense, Skylar Spencer’s role became more important as the lone big guy starter.

The Aztecs are coming off playing a tough Utah State Aggies team that made 52.7 percent of their shots, challenging the Aztecs’ defense on the floor.

Still, the defense is winning the games for the Aztecs. San Diego State leads the Mountain West with 150 steals and they’re second in turnovers. The Aztecs are leading the nation in holding the opponents to shooting 36.2 percent in the field. Though up 12 at the half, the Aztecs were only shooting 37.9 percent from the field, but the Rams were held to 24 percent in the field. By game’s end, the Aztecs kept the Rams shooting at 36.2 percent.

The Larry Estauchy and Daniel Bejarano feud seemed to be the focal point of the Colorado State’s troubles. The argument led Bejarano to sit down after the first media timeout leaving Bejarano, Colorado State’s valuable player, on the bench the rest of the game. Jon Octeus had to shoulder the load for the Rams leading the scoring with 24 points.

San Diego State’s ended their victory with 37.5 percent shooting in field effectively riding their defensive formula (steals, turnovers, points off turnovers) to victory once again. The first Aztecs points were scored at the 17:25 mark off Xavier Thames free throws. Thames led the Aztecs with 24 points, one assist and six rebounds.

Erwin Mendoza is a San Diego Chargers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @erwinsports, or add him to your network on Google.