San Diego, CA – Sharing the top spot in the Mountain West ranked UNLV, the 17th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs try to keep moving in the right direction tonight as they host the TCU Horned Frogs at Viejas Arena.
Sporting a 5-1 conference mark, the Aztecs recently had an 11-game win streak snapped by Colorado State on the road last weekend, but the team bounced back with a narrow 58-56 triumph over Boise State on Wednesday night. The victory, against the latest addition to the MWC, which is still winless in six conference outings, was the 19th of the campaign for SDSU, one of the most successful teams at the Division I level the last two years.
As for the Horned Frogs, they too were in action three nights ago as they hosted Wyoming, using that meeting to capture a 58-52 victory to move to 3-3 in the MWC which locks them in a three-way tie for fourth place with both the Cowboys and Colorado State.
San Diego State leads the all-time series between these two teams by a count of 11-4, taking 11 of the 12 matchups during which both teams have been part of the MWC.
The Horned Frogs improved to 10-1 on the season in games decided by six points or less, thanks to their triumph over visiting Wyoming on Wednesday night. Craig Williams posted a team-best 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds for TCU, followed by Hank Thorns and Amric Fields with 12 and 10 points, respectively, the former scoring in double figures for the sixth time in the last seven games. Thorns, the team's leading scorer on the season with his 13.1 ppg, is shooting almost as well from three-point range (.393) as he is from the floor (.397) overall, which is more an indictment on his poor field goal shooting. Fields (10.3 ppg) and Garlon Green (10.2 ppg) are also key contributors on offense as the team generates 70.6 ppg, but at the same time the Horned Frogs are giving themselves little wiggle room as they give up 68.8 ppg.
The Aztecs started out slow in their meeting with Boise State, an opponent that is still adjusting to life in the Mountain West, but SDSU managed to rebound from 12 points down in the second half to grab the two-point home win earlier this week. Points were hard to come by for the Aztecs as they converted a total of just 15 field goals on 48 attempts, not to mention 3- of-19 behind the three-point line, but the team turned it around at the free- throw line where they outscored the visitors by a 25-7 margin. The only ones to score in double figures for SDSU were Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley with 16 and 14 points, respectively, the former also clearing eight rebounds in an effort to offset his six turnovers. Tapley and Jamaal Franklin have been the one-two scoring punch the Aztecs have been leaning on the most this season with 16.0 and 15.7 ppg, respectively, with Franklin also pulling down a team- high seven rebounds per game as well.