San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Former league foes get together for a marquee matchup on Tuesday, as the 16th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs host the 25th-ranked Utah Runnin' Utes at Viejas Arena.
San Diego State, which is still a member of the Mountain West Conference, is home for three straight games to begin the 2014-15 campaign before heading to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational next week. The Aztecs, who will host Cal State Bakersfield on Thursday, opened the season with a convincing 79-58 win over Cal State Northridge last Friday, giving the team 11 straight wins over non-conference opponents.
Overall, SDSU has won 15 consecutive home games and 42 in a row versus schools from the state of California.
As for the Utes, now affiliated with the Pac-12 Conference and preparing to settle in for a five-game homestand beginning with a visit by UC Riverside three days from now, they began the season on a positive note as well with a 90-72 romp over Ball State in Salt Lake City.
While SDSU may be the higher-ranked program at the moment, it is Utah that owns a commanding 53-18 advantage in the all-time series. However, the Aztecs have won five straight over the Utes, capturing a 64-50 victory back in 2011 during the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.
Against Ball State, the Utes scored the first points of the contest and never looked back, moving out to a 9-0 advantage before the Cardinals were able to respond. Eventually, Utah made good on 56.5 percent from the floor in the first half, an even more impressive 61.5 percent after intermission, en route to the double-digit home win.
Except for Chris Reyes who finished with eight points, every Utah starter finished in double figures as Brandon Taylor led the way with 19 points. Jordan Loveridge and Jakob Poeltl both dropped in 18 points, the latter adding a team-best 10 rebounds, while Delon Wright tallied 13 points, eight assists, four steals and three blocked shots.
The Utes owned the glass, 35-22, and forced 15 turnovers, not to mention outscoring the visitors at the charity stripe by a 26-12 margin.
CSUN led for a short time in their season opener against the Aztecs, but it wasn't long before the SDSU defense made a stand and held the visitors to a mere nine field goals in the first half. Overall, the Matadors shot 41.4 percent from the field and turned the ball over 17 times, allowing SDSU to pull away for the comfortable victory. Aqeel Quinn came off the bench to post 15 points, leading four players in double figures, while Winston Shepard pitched in with 14 points, JJ O'Brien 13 and Dwayne Polee II 11 points.
Skylar Spencer refrained from taking too many shots, which is why he tallied only four points, but he still filled his stat line with eight rebounds, six blocked shots, three steals and three assists. As a unit, the Aztecs shot a collective 50 percent from the field, but only 6-of-20 on the outside and 17- of-26 at the charity stripe.