Aztecs and Broncos mix it up in Mountain West action

Locked in a three-way tie for first place in the ranked San Diego State Aztecs try to put their best foot forward tonight as they clash with the Boise State Broncos at Taco Bell Arena.

San Diego State, which has a trip to TCU this weekend as the final game on the regular-season schedule, has battled back from a three-game slide just a few weeks back by putting up consecutive conference wins in order to move to 8-4 in league action. On Saturday, the team fought off Colorado State in the final regular-season home date at Viejas Arena, 74-66, which means SDSU is now locked with New Mexico and UNLV in the league standings, those two squads taking on Air Force and CSU, respectively, tonight.

As for the newest addition to the MWC after moving over from the Western Athletic Conference, the Broncos looked great in the early part of the season but then the new conference slate caught them napping. The team did manage to post three straight league wins earlier this month, but more recently BSU bowed to Wyoming on the road over the weekend in a 64-54 final at Arena Auditorium.

With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, SDSU has won both previous meetings, including a narrow 58-56 final in the first clash of the season four weeks ago.

Jamaal Franklin carried the Aztecs on Senior Day over the weekend as he registered a career-high-tying 31 points and pulled down a career-best 16 rebounds as the team defeated Colorado State by eight points. Xavier Thames and James Rahon also scored in double figures for an SDSU squad that at one point trailed by as many as nine points, posting 15 and 14 points, respectively. The hosts helped themselves by hitting on 20-of-24 shots at the free-throw line, compared to just 9-of-11 for the Rams. Jamaal Franklin continues to lead the team in scoring overall with 16.4 ppg and is tops on the glass as well with 7.6 rpg, which should be enough of a reason for him to remain around the paint and not on the perimeter on offense where he has made just 28.8 percent of his three-point tries. Leaving the three-point shooting to Chase Tapley (15.3 ppg) would be a much better option since he leads the team with 44.0 percent accuracy from long range.

The Broncos set a bad precedent in the first half against Wyoming by making just eight total field goals in the frame, yet somehow the team trailed by just six points at the break. Unfortunately for BSU, the poor shooting continued in the second half as the squad made good on just 30.3 percent from the floor and 2-of-13 behind the three-point line, en route to the double- digit loss. Kenny Buckner emerged as the only player to score in double figures for the Broncos with a mere 10 points. Anthony Drmic, who finished the meeting with Wyoming only 3-of-10 from the floor, is now shooting just 38.1 percent from the field but is still the leading scorer for the program with 12.0 ppg. Behind Drmic the scoring is quite balanced as the Broncos produce 69.4 ppg on the season, but allow only 66.0 ppg. Unfortunately, when it comes to conference games BSU doesn't have anyone scoring in double digits and the team overall is posting only 60.5 ppg.