SDSU beats No. 15 New Mexico 55-34 behind O’Brien
Posted at: 01/26/2013 5:07 PM
By BERNIE WILSON
(AP) SAN DIEGO - JJ O’Brien had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Jamaal Franklin added 10 points and San Diego State routed No. 15 New Mexico 55-34 Saturday to keep the cold-shooting Lobos from running away with the Mountain West Conference race.
The Aztecs (16-4, 4-2) dealt the Lobos (17-3, 4-1) their first conference loss and snapped New Mexico’s four-game winning streak.
New Mexico’s 34 points and 25 percent shooting (11 of 44) were season lows. Kendall Williams had 14 points for the Lobos.
New Mexico’s previous lows of 46 points and 31.8 percent shooting came in their last loss, 60-46 at Saint Louis on Dec. 31.
SDSU shot only 40.4 percent (23 of 57) but outrebounded the Lobos 41-26.
SDSU and New Mexico shared the MWC regular-season title last year, with each team winning at the other’s arena. The Lobos then beat the Aztecs in the conference tournament championship game.
The Aztecs fell out of The Associated Press Top 25 on Monday after losing at home to UNLV and on the road to Wyoming last week. SDSU bounced back by winning at Nevada on Wednesday.
Leading 33-19 at halftime, SDSU scored 10 of the first 15 points in the second half to go up 43-24. O’Brien had six of those points, including a nice reverse layup after rebounding DeShawn Stephens’ missed free throw. O’Brien also scored after rebounding his own miss and on a jumper.
San Diego State ended the first half on an 8-0 run, including a 3-pointer by Franklin.
After a slow start by both teams, the Aztecs took control with a 14-2 run that gave them a 21-9 lead with 9:19 left before halftime. That run also ended with a 3-pointer, by Xavier Thames.
Thames, who’s been bothered by a back injury, didn’t start for the fourth time in six games. Freshman Winston Shepard had five points during the 14-2 spurt.
New Mexico came back with a jump hook by Alex Kirk and a 3-pointer by Tony Snell to make it 23-14. New Mexico didn’t make a field goal the rest of the first half after Cleveland Thomas hit a baseline jumper with 4:53 to go.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)