SDSU’s Defense Smothers Utah In Non-Conference Finale

Dec 21, 2019, 7:23 PM | Updated: 10:54 pm

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The 20th ranked San Diego State Aztecs’ defense made their presence felt in their 80-52 win over the Utah Utes at Staples Center in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.

The Aztecs forced Utah to shoot from the perimeter and mid-range shots, while clogging up the paint. The Utes couldn’t get anything going offensively. In the first half, San Diego State had a 15-2 lead before the Utes kept the game close and trailed by 10 points at the halftime break.

Utah had a decent start to the second half before the Aztecs made three-point shots to break the game open as the Utes five game winning streak came to an end and so did the non-conference portion of their schedule.

Timmy Allen led the Utes with 21 points and 6 rebounds, while shooting 6-14 from the field and 3-5 from the three-point line. He was the only Utah player to score in double figures and only seven other players scored. Both Gach added 8 points, Rylan Jones had 5, Riley Battin chipped in 4 points, Brandon Haddock posted 3 points, Mikael Jantunen added 4 points, Alfonso Plummer had 5 points and Lahat Thioune finished with 2 points.

Utah shot 15-48 from the field for just 31 percent, 7-23 from beyond the arc for 30 percent and 15-19 from the free throw line. They struggled taking care of the ball in the first half with 11 turnovers, but in the second half had just 6. SDSU scored 17 points off of Utah’s turnovers.

The Aztecs controlled the paint throughout as they outscored Utah 22-2 in the first half and 42-10 in the game. Malachi Flynn led San Diego State with 16 points and 8 assists. Yanni Wetzel and Nathan Mensah each scored 14 points. As a team, they shot 31-63 (49%) from the field, 9-22 (41%) from the perimeter and 9-13 from the free throw line.

The Utes dropped their record to 9-3 on the season. They will have the next 11 days off before they begin Pac-12 play against the Oregon State Beavers on Thursday, January 2. The game will be played at the Jon M. Huntsman Center and will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

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