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The Colorado State men’s basketball team (15-6, 5-2 MWC) plays host to its second top-10 team in less than two weeks when the Aztecs from San Diego State (21-1, 6-1 MWC) come to Moby Arena for a Wednesday night matchup. The game will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports, with tipoff slated for 7:15 p.m. MT.
SDSU is ranked No. 7/6 in the national polls, and is the highest ranked opponent to visit Moby Arena since No. 5 Utah on Feb. 14, 1998. SDSU sits just one game ahead of CSU in second place in the Mountain West Conference standings. The Rams, third in the MWC, are receiving votes in the AP Top 25, the program’s first top-25 votes in more than four years.
About San Diego State
San Diego State enters Wednesday’s matchup with an overall record of 21-1 (6-1 MWC). The No. 7/6-ranked Aztecs rebounded from their first loss of the season (Jan. 26 at then-No. 9 BYU) with a 39-point win, 96-57, over Wyoming on Saturday.
Sophomore Kawhi Leonard leads the Aztecs’ attack. The forward out of Riverside, Calif., is sixth in the MWC with 15.3 points per game, and leads the conference averaging 10.3 rebounds per contest. He also leads the team in steals (30). Joining Leonard in double-figures scoring are seniors D.J. Gay and Malcolm Thomas. Gay averages 12.3 points per game, and team highs for minutes played (34.1) and assists (3.2). He also ranks seventh in the MWC shooting 40.5 percent from three-point range. Thomas averages 11.3 points, and ranks third in the conference at 7.9 rebounds per game. He is also second in the MWC with 50 blocks.
As a team, SDSU features one of the nation’s best defenses, allowing 59.3 points per game (12th nationally), and faces a CSU team that leads the MWC in field-goal percentage (.492) and ranks second in scoring (75.6 ppg). SDSU ranks first in the MWC in field-goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 39.7 percent shooting, and is also second in blocked shots (4.9 per game). Offensively, the Aztecs rank second in field-goal percentage (.488), and are third in scoring (73.8 ppg). They also rank among the nation’s top rebounding teams, leading the MWC in rebounding margin (+6.6).
Steve Fisher is in his 12th season in San Diego, where he is 219-150. He is 403-232 in his 20th full season as a head coach.
Series vs. the Aztecs
Colorado State holds the all-time series advantage against San Diego State, posting a 35-29 record in 64 previous meetings. However, the Aztecs have won seven straight games in the series, and 12-of-13 dating back to 2005-06. CSU’s last win over SDSU came during the quarterfinals of the 2007 MWC championships, 69-64. CSU’s last regular-season win over the Aztecs was during the 2004-05 season, a 93-88 overtime victory at Moby Arena.
Despite its recent struggles vs. SDSU, CSU has had a lot of success at home against the Aztecs, posting a 22-7 mark in Fort Collins. The 2004-05 home win over SDSU was the last in a streak of 20 consecutive home wins against the Aztecs, which began in the 1981-82 season. CSU has lost five consecutive home games in the series.
In two regular-season games last year, Andy Ogide averaged 15.5 points and six rebounds against the Aztecs. However, in the quarterfinals of the MWC tournament, he was ejected just nine minutes into the contest, leaving with six points and four rebounds. The Rams lost on a missed last-second three-point attempt, 72-71, and SDSU went on to win the league championship and the MWC’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. Dorian Green scored 12 points that night, while also dishing out four assists and recording a block and a steal. Adam Nigon scored 18 points in the most recent regular-season meeting between the two schools.
CSU will travel north to Laramie, Wyo., where the Rams will look for a season sweep of the rival Cowboys at UW’s Arena-Auditorium on Saturday night. CSU beat Wyoming 73-60 on Jan. 4 in Fort Collins, and has won three consecutive games in the Border War against the Cowboys.