The San Diego State Aztecs started a little flat against the New Mexico Lobos in their 75-70 victory. In fact, the Lobos scored the first 10 points, and it looked as if the Aztecs may fall apart before the game even really began.
Then, Steve Fisher made a great substitution, bringing in sophomore backup point guard LaBradford Franklin and taking out his namesake, Jamaal. The move worked wonders.
From that point on, the Aztecs outscored the Lobos, 75-60, thanks to Xavier Thames' 22 points and a revitalized Jamaal Franklin. In the second half, the reigning conference player of the week came alive with a number of athletic plays and a couple of threes to help the Aztecs (16-2, 2-0 in the Mountain West) hold the Lobos (15-3, 1-1 in the MWC) off.
The win was by far the Aztecs' most notable road victory and their second victory in a week against their primary competition for a second consecutive Mountain West title.
But, it didn't come without some struggle. The Aztecs entered the second half down a point, 31-30. And the second half started out slowly for San Diego State.
But after a timeout at 16:05, the Aztecs erupted, and by the time the teams reached the under-12 timeout, the Aztecs were firmly in control of this game.
In a game where the Aztecs were burned from three-point range early and often and out-rebounded by four (though it seemed like a lot more), the Aztecs dominated this game with their defense, holding the Lobos to 39 percent from the field.
And offensively, the Aztecs were extremely efficient. They limited the turnovers—just six—and shot 48 percent from the field.
That is the formula which gave the Aztecs a convincing win in Albuquerque over the home team who came in having won 13 straight games.
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