As one of only three Division I programs ranked San Diego State at Viejas Arena.
Along with Towson and Binghamton, Chicago State has yet to celebrate a single victory in 2011-12. Representing the Great West Conference, the Cougars last suited up on Friday night when they took on another member of the Mountain West Conference in Air Force, a meeting that resulted in a 68-54 setback and the 15th defeat in as many games for Chicago State. Because the Cougars closed out the 2010-11 campaign on a lengthy slide as well, the team has now dropped 24 in a row overall.
Meanwhile the Aztecs, who are clashing with Chicago State for the first time ever, they don't even have the best overall record in the MWC right now, a honor that goes to UNLV at 16-2. However, San Diego State does have 13 wins in 15 chances and those two setbacks have come against nationally-ranked foes in Baylor and Creighton. Most recently, SDSU took the floor last Thursday night when they crushed San Diego Christian College in an 83-52 final for its sixth win in a row. Tonight's opponent marks the third straight for the Aztecs that is not a typical opponent, the other being Redlands which fell by a 94-43 score on December 30.
With Air Force slowing the pace against the Cougars last week points were bound to be at a premium, but Chicago State probably didn't imagine it was going to shoot only 6-of-27 (.222) from the floor in the first half and 17- of-56 (.304) for the entire game, but that's exactly what happened. While starting guard Matt Samuels was shooting just 1-of-10 from the field, Lee Fisher was trying to give Chicago State a fighting chance with his 16 points and game-high 18 rebounds. Fisher, the leading rebounder for the Cougars in each of their last three outings, not only paces the program in that department with his 8.1 boards per game this season, he is also second in scoring with 12.6 ppg. Jeremy Robinson and Samuels account for 13.5 and 10.8 ppg, respectively, but this is still a team that is generating a mere 58.7 ppg and is giving up a ridiculous 85.0 ppg. Ball handling is clearly an issue for the Cougars as well as they have almost twice as many turnovers (288) as they do assists (147) after 15 games.
A total of 10 players hit the floor for the Aztecs against San Diego Christian last week and all of them scored at least one point, with half hitting for double figures in the lopsided decision. DeShawn Stephens accounted for 18 points and eight rebounds, Garrett Green 14 points, thanks mostly to 10-of-14 shooting at the free-throw line, Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley 11 points apiece and Alec Williams 10 points and eight boards off the bench for the hosts. Tapley leads a quartet of double-digit scorers for the Aztecs with his 16.9 ppg, shooting not just 52.0 percent from the floor overall but also a team-best 51.3 percent behind the three-point line as well. Jamaal Franklin sports averages of 15.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game to give the group a steady presence in the paint along with Green (7.7 ppg) and Stephens (6.5 ppg) who are both pulling down more than six rebounds per game as well which has led the team to more than 39 boards per outing.