FULLERTON, Calif. – Winston Shepard scored 15 points and Matt Shrigley added 12 to lead San Diego State to a 72-52 win over the College of Charleston in Thursday's first round of the Wooden Legacy, at Cal State Fullerton.
Xavier Thames scored 11 points for San Diego State and JJ O'Brien added 10. Shrigley scored a game-high four 3-pointers and the Aztecs shot 57.4 percent from the field.
The Aztecs (3-1) could do no wrong in the game's opening minutes, and the Cougars (2-4) had trouble doing anything right.
San Diego State scored 17 of the game's first 18 points, forcing the pace with their speed and shooting well from long range.
Their 17-1 run ended with 13:22 left in the first half, when David Wishon scored Charleston's first field goal.
The Aztecs kept the pressure on and took their biggest lead of the half (29-7) on a 3-pointer Shrigley.
Theo Johnson hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with seven minutes left, cutting the Aztecs' lead to 29-16, but that was the closest that the Cougars got and San Diego State led 37-21 at halftime.
The Cougars Tried but couldn't consistently hit 3-pointers. They entered the game with a 34.3 success rate from behind the 3-point line this season, but shot just 12.5 percent (1 for 8) in the first half.
Charleston turned up the defensive pressure to start the second half. Anthony Stitt and Canyon Berry picked up steals on the Aztecs' first two possessions, converting each one into points.
The Cougars had a chance to creep to within nine points with just over 14 minutes to play, but Joe Chealey missed on his three-point attempt. Anthony Thomas picked up the rebound for Charleston but Chealey missed on his ensuing shot as well.
The Aztecs countered with a basket by Thames, increasing their lead to 48-34.
Charleston got back to within 12 points at 12:47 on a layup by Thomas, but the Aztecs found their second wind and pulled away with a 15-2 run and a 63-38 lead that put the game out of reach.
Adjehi Baru led the Cougars with eight points. Charleston shot 33.3 percent from the field on 18-of-54 shooting.