San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Coming off their second loss of the season, the 18th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs try to work their way back into the win column on Wednesday night as they host the Long Beach State 49ers.
The Aztecs, who ranked as high as 13th in the AP poll last week, lost for the second time in a span of three games as the team succumbed to a Washington defense that held them to just 36 points on Sunday. For the fourth time this season SDSU held an opponent under 50 points, but still the Huskies picked up the 13-point win on their home floor.
The good news is the Aztecs are back at home where they have not only won 18 straight games, the team has also rattled off 44 consecutive victories against opponents from the state of California, the longest active streak in the nation for one program against another state's representatives.
Meanwhile, the 49ers have yet to win a true road game in 2014-15, although they have won a pair of outings on a neutral floor during early-season tournament action. Most recently, the team was pitted against Stephen F. Austin on the road and came up short in a 74-45 final last Friday. Like the Aztecs, the last offensive effort for LBSU represented the weakest of the season thus far.
The Aztecs lead the all-time series by a count of 36-22, winning four straight over LBSU. The most recent meeting took place three years ago with SDSU slipping by at home, 77-73, in overtime.
Long Beach State fell behind SFA right out of the gate and never recovered, sinking only seven field goals in the first half and another nine after the break, en route to the lopsided road loss. Branford Jones came off the bench to tally 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor, followed by David Samuels who came up a rebound shy of a double-double as he posted 11 points, but was also charged with seven of the team's 19 turnovers.
Despite missing all eight 3-point tries in the last outing, the 49ers are still converting shots from long distance at a 39.3 percent clip, which is considerably better than the opposition at 31.2 percent. Mike Caffey, one of three players to have started every game, checks in with 17.6 ppg to pace the offense, having not only knocked down 46.5 percent beyond the arc but also handing out 38 assists which is close to three times as many as his closest teammate entering play this week.
Converting just one of their first 12 field goal attempts at Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday, the Aztecs dug themselves a huge hole and were never able to regain their footing as they suffering an embarrassing loss at Washington. Even though SDSU made a mere five field goals in the first half, the team still trailed by just six points at the break, 21-15, before the Huskies put some more distance between themselves and the Aztecs.
Not surprisingly, there wasn't a single San Diego State player in double figures due to the fact that no one sank more than a pair of field goals. The starting five was limited to a combined 4-of-36 from the field, with guard Trey Kell being held scoreless as he missed all seven shots from the floor. Winston Shepard was the high man with a mere seven points, while Skylar Spencer pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds.
Offense has not been a major focus for the Aztecs this season, with the team scoring only 62.6 ppg, but still the squad was not prepared for the manner in which the Huskies treated them. Shepard is the lone double-digit scorer through eight games with his 10.3 ppg, adding 5.4 rpg while dealing with the fact that he has just nine assists against 21 turnovers.